Bengaluru: A walk to celebrate Venkatappa Art Gallery’s heritage

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DECCAN CHRONICLE. Published Apr 18, 2016

The purpose of the walk was to focus on the wooden sculptures made by 20 artists across Karnataka.
Artist John Devraj performs with his troupe during the Art Walk at sculpture park, on the occasion of Venkatappa Art Gallery’s anniversary, in  Bengaluru on Sunday	—DC

 Artist John Devraj performs with his troupe during the Art Walk at sculpture park, on the occasion of Venkatappa Art Gallery’s anniversary, in Bengaluru on Sunday —DC

Bengaluru: As part of their ongoing protest against the privatization of Venkatappa Art Gallery, a number of VAG forum members, artists and the general public on Sunday took part in a walk to Cubbon Park from the gallery premises. The purpose of the walk was to focus on the wooden sculptures made by 20 artists across Karnataka and to celebrate the 41st anniversary of the gallery.

The theme was “Nature and People.” The sculptures were made by different artists during a 15-day-long camp organized by the Kannada and Culture Department in association with Karnataka Shilpakala Academy and Horticulture Department.

“These sculptures are made from fallen trees inside the park, mostly Silver Oak. Artists were given the liberty to show their creativity. We used about 40 per cent of the wood from the fallen trees to carve these sculptures and for the remaining we have asked the Horticulture department to give us permission to make small dolls to gift children who visit the park and also to hold carpentry classes,” said Shivaprasad S, Camp Presiding Officer and member of Karnataka Shilpakala Academy.

Indu Mathi Swamy, a student of Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, said, “I came here as an assistant and found a Silver Oak wood piece, about to decay. It looked like mother nature calling me to fix her. I retained the natural wood formation and added my creativity to it.”

Another artist, Sameer Rao, said, “A simple chair can mean relaxation or power. Keeping this in mind we made a huge chair and placed the sculpture on the other side of Cubbon Park opposite  Vidhan Soudha. This shows power.”

Shivaprasad, while pointing at stones placed in a circle inside the park said, “These 200 stones in about 100 varieties were used by the Mysore minerals for study purposes and later was seen dumped in the park. We arranged these stones to make it look like a galaxy.”

The walk was followed by  another walk with artist Abhishek Hazra’s Project titled “Support Structures / Yearning for an Outside” in Venkatappa Art Gallery.
Meanwhile, the members of VAG, while concluding the day-long event, said they would like to see more artist friends rally around in large numbers to help them keep Venkatappa Art Gallery an active hub.