longer and make them more open and curious towards the art scenario in general.”
“I think it’s in everybody’s interest to get more viewership and patronage for arts in general, so that art becomes more accessible and even artists want and need that,” says Modi. “The artists also understood our ethos and the fact that this was a unique opportunity to reach out to a new audience in a secure environment. The venues themselves were quite unusual and presented an interesting challenge for the artists involved. Some of the artworks were generously loaned by galleries and they shared our vision, and also felt that today’s viewers could be tomorrow’s buyers.”
However, the concept of public art remains constrained in India and not without incidents of vandalism.
Says Threshold Art Gallery’s Tunty Chauhan, “It has to do with our small-minded nature. We think of our home and not about the street outside...look at the palatial corporate buildings in Delhi and other places in India and the sorry state of the roads that lead up to them. Similarly, hardly any attention is given to the aesthetics of a space. Architects and galleries can easily rectify this. Art needs to move out of the intimidating gallery space into our public space.”
“If you look at the public arts space in the world, be it the US or the UK, the government is always involved in such initiatives,” says Modi. “In India, we don’t have that kind of support. Therefore, there is no sense of ownership or security. The artworks should be bought by the government,” she says, adding, “We just want people to understand the importance of public art in beautifying our city, to make it a cultural destination. The public art space is a fairly new art market in India. It’s at a nascent stage. We have taken the first step...”
During the month-long Publica festival, which is scheduled till March 1, works by Indian and international artists will be on display at prominent hubs of cultural and commercial activity in and around the capital such as the India Habitat Centre, Select Citywalk mall, The