Inside an art exhibition on public spaces

The exhibition space and the installations. The chair being part of the virtual reality experience

Amidst the greenery of the Cubbon Park lies a place that must be visited by all those who love and appreciate art, both from in and outside of the city. A year ago, the State government proposed to give Venkatappa Art Gallery for adoption  to a corporate entity which led to a  protest by artists and art lovers.

Venkatappa Art gallery is situated right next to the Bengaluru museum and brings tourists from all over the country as well as around the world, thereby making this one of the primary locations for art tourism in Bengaluru.

It’s summer holiday time. And the Bangalore museum and Venkatappa art gallery are crowded with tourists. VAG is providing something different for the people to experience. “Art in Transit”, an initiative of the students of Srishti, along with the VAG, is hosting “To scratch a surface”, an art exhibition on the public art culture of Bengaluru, which gives the visitors an understanding about artists as well art in public spaces around Bengaluru.

A Map of Bangalore showing the public spaces with art work Photo By – Alexander Sam Thomas

The exhibition invites everyone to experience art from varying public spaces within the four walls. “The idea of  organising an exhibition on the art work in public spaces and taking that idea and executing it in a closed space was a challenge,” says Amitabh Kumar, one of the main curators of the exhibition.

People Can use headphones to listen to the interviews with artists photo by Alexander Sam Thomas

The exhibition starts off with a tour around the painted streets of Bengaluru  through virtual reality. A huge layout of the city is kept on one wall, which shows all the locations with art. The main highlight of the exhibition is the theme of interviews. A range of headphones are stuck on the walls where visitors can come and listen to interviews  of various artists such as Ullas Hydoor, Anpu, Guess Who and thirteen others. The interview starts with an introduction of the artists and ends with their view on what public space means to them.

A space in the middle of the exhibition   if meant for an artist to create an artwork. An artist is invited every day and is asked to create his/her piece of art on cubes.

“The art exhibition has witnessed hundreds of tourists from around the country as well as around the world,”  says Amitabh. He adds that this was unique art experience for him and hopes to conduct a similar exhibition experience soon.