Essence of Delhi's CP

Urban Art


The famous CP corridors.

Keventers, the quaint pre-Independence milk bar, says Delhi-based artist Megha Joshi.

Joshi has captured the essence of Connaught Place with a solid three-dimensional installation of flowing milk made of over 200 Keventers milk bottles. She is one of the 25 artists at a unique art residency project called ‘Connaught Place: The Why Not Place’ at the Religare Arts Gallery in Connaught Place on till August 27. Twenty five artists have been working round-the-clock at makeshift studios created in the gallery since May 27.

“When I was researching on Connaught Place, I realised that food bound Delhiites to Connaught Place, which is dotted with eateries. Most old-timers remembered Keventers, the rundown milk bar next to Wenger’s Bakery. Keventers is known for its iced milk and shakes served in oversized glass bottles,” Joshi says.

She has created a twisted river of milk through a complex pattern of bottles —  from the wall to the floor. The bottles have been cemented with glue. A shard of glass shaped like a droplet of milk flows out of the last bottle that touches the ground.

For artist Pratibha Singh, Connaught Place is like a shrine. Her installation combines a series of small format art works in fluorescent colours that shows the bustling city centre through the eyes of a visitor from outer space.

The canvases with hazy maps of CP, as Connaught Place is commonly known, and its surrounding energy fields are placed in a shrine of white chiffon strips  —  which takes off from the small temples found in the back alleys of the area.

“I imagined I was a space traveller coming down to Connaught Place. First, I saw nothing but pure energy fields and then a hazy outline of a bustling shopping centre. I used to walk around CP twice a day and I discovered that almost every tree had a shrine at its base with wish threads tied around them,” Singh added.

A central collaborative art work of Connaught Place by 25 artists is a 70-foot-diameter circular layout of CP with three concentric layers of art depicting the outer circle, inner circle and central square. Radial art panels fan out of the circle showing the roads leading out of CP. Hanging on top is a fleet of ‘happy cars’ suspended by strings. The cars have wings and tails.

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