Bengaluru: What is a story without a current narrative? It is nothing but a ghost from the past bundled with hopes for the future, says Amitabh Kumar, the brain behind Art in Transit (AIT), an initiative that believes in depicting the ‘now’ through brush strokes. He said, “When we were researching to see how we could reclaim public spaces through art, we came across a lot of telling stories, but all the stories were either nostalgic or futuristic. Nothing conveyed the present scenario.”
The art lab, led by Amitabh and Arzu Mistry, is a little older than two years, and it is already making waves. Facilitated by the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, the initiative has collaborated with the BMRCL and Street Art Foundation, for its month-long street art festival in the city. The artists have breathed life into empty walls with their colourful murals and blown-up art exhibits at Peenya Metro Station, Majestic Station and Cubbon Park Station, to name a few.
In an ever changing and fast-paced city, it is all about stimulating conversations between people and the urban spaces that they inhabit, he remarked. “We wanted to do something that contributes towards bringing forth dialogues between people and their public spaces. It was about the formation of a group of writers and poets and artists who would respond to the sights and tell the story of Bengaluru the way they saw it today,” he said.
Amitabh, a trained artist from Baroda and an art educator at Srishti, has been following his passion for almost 15 years and AIT is in some ways, a realisation of that dream. He says, “What I felt strongly about was the immense amount of public art that had nothing to say about the essence of Bengaluru today and I’ve always been an explorer and I sought to close the loop between the source and the form. Through AIT, that is coming true.”
Their next art festival is all set to take off in December and that will involve more collaborations and more artists, he said with hope. He said, “We really want students and artists from different places to come and join us, like the Chitrakala Parishath, Bangalore University and RV University. We’d like to grow and learn more about the nature of art, design and new ideas through collaborations.”...