Street art is fun. It lifts the spirit. Delhi has many boring walls which could do with a bit of colour and humour. When I heard that St+art had commissioned two Singaporean artists to decorate a grey, concrete metro station on the border between Delhi and Gurugram, I had to see it.
Arjan Garh is probably as near to “countryside” as anywhere in the national capital region. So the artists used this as a theme – the station is covered with multicoloured kingfishers and mynah birds on the outside, with peacocks, ground squirrels and monkeys in the stairwells. The Singaporean artists had help from a Mexican and an Indian from Pune.
I spoke to several passengers travelling on the metro, but none of them were aware of the artwork. They obviously didn’t board the train at Arjan Garh, because you can’t miss it. But when I showed them my photographs, they were delighted.
Although it was getting very hot, I decided to visit the Lodhi Colony to see some new murals. I got off the train at Jor Bagh, where there are some decorative panels on the walls of the station. Some other stations, such as Udyog Bhawan, INA, Green Park and ITO also have some interesting wall art. But they are nothing like as impressive as the open air murals in Lodhi Colony. These new artworks were excellent, just as colourful and vibrant as the older paintings I had seen six months ago.
And following the local elections here in Delhi, this is a collage of political posters. As the BeeGees would say, “It’s only words, and words are all I have. To take your heart away. You think that I don’t even mean. A single word I say.”