Nature and congestion are two words that are almost never used together. To most people, they are poles apart. But as artists, one always tends to look at the beauty, rather than ugliness and encourage others to do the same.
Two artistes Saskia Groneberg and Beltina Lockemann from Germany, through their works titled Crossing the Jungle being displayed at Max Muller Bhavan have managed to do exactly that! These two photographers and art graduates captured the beauty of the city, despite all of its drawbacks, through their photographs!
For Beltina, transport has always been an interesting subject. “I have always been drawn to the mobility and fast growing environments. And with my pictures, I have tried to catch the audience’s attention through traffic congestion by showing the pros as well as the cons of it,” explains the photographer who spent around two months in the city on her project.
“In the photographs, you can see people who are frustrated at being a part of the congestion, while others are making the most of it and keeping themselves busy. I have captured students in buses solving math problems and helping each other out. I even spoke to a lady who informed me that she uses the time stuck in traffic to catch up with her friends on the phone, as she would spend time with her family at home. She looked at it like an advantage!” explains the 45 year old artiste.
“It was a struggle to communicate with conductors and auto drivers, but when people saw me having trouble, most of them offered to help translate what I was trying to say. It was a wonderful experience overall,” says the freelance and art historian who was in the city as a part of a residential programme.
On the other hand, Saskia Groneberg is attracted to the aspect of design in the human environment. For the past several years, the artiste has been particularly interested in artificially moulded nature, finding its expression in the city.
“The connection between the concrete and the plants is what inspired me. I have seen plants growing out of houses, at construction sites and even through cracks in the pavement and have tried to bring out that aspect of beauty through my photographs. I am trying to make people more conscious of the beauty that lies around us, and they seem to be picking it up!” says the 39 year old excitedly.
“Bringing out the aspect of Bengaluru’s name – The Garden City was the aim of this project which seems to have worked because the responses have been phenomenal! People have been telling me that they have started to notice the beauty of the city, rather than turn a blind eye to it,” says the artiste who has had numerous shows in and around Europe as well.
The exhibition is on till June 4....