A hero can be anyone - from those who fight for the country to those who patiently run homes, raise children, and keep families together. Acknowledging the efforts of the latter is a sculpture by renowned artist Ravinder Reddy, exhibited at the newly launched sculpture gallery in Madhavendra Palace at the Nahargarh Fort here. Executed in Reddy's quintessential style of free standing over-sized heads, 'Migrant', made in painted fibreglass, depicts the face of a dark skinned woman with a sack on her head. Taking cue from the ongoing refugee crisis, the sculptor glorifies the panoramic struggles of the displaced women as they continue to hold their lives together even when they are on the move. 'Migrant' is one of the 53 art pieces on display at the sculpture park here that was inaugurated by chief minister Vasundhara Raje last evening. "For many years now, people have been coming to this beautiful palace - they come, they look and go away, but to keep this space living, it is important to merge it with today. "If people are able to get to the works, where their imagination can be captured, where things can take off, where things can happen within these beautiful walls, I think it's a privilege for someone like me to allow it to happen," Raje said. Curated by artist and gallery director Peter Nagy, the park featuring sculptures by 15 Indian and nine international artists, is an initiative of the government of Rajasthan in collaboration with a non-profit organisation Saat Saath Arts. For Nagy, the sculpture park was a way of breaking away from the "white-box exhibition space", and indulge his passions for art, architecture and decor into a marvelous synthesis of the past and the present. "We tried to incorporate a lot of objects that bring in a sense of life and domesticity to the palace.
Next year, it will be more focused with probably five or six artists, each having may be six to ten works," he said. The local fervour of Rajasthan is brought to viewers by Prashant Pande, who hails from a Jaipur-based family of stone carvers. Two of his works 'Peace' and 'Woven Mirror' use marble chips and textiles respectively, both typical of the Rajasthani handicrafts. To strike a chord with the urban audience, Asim Waqif explores the politics of recycled materials and the refuse of a city in 'Municipal Demolition 1'. The sculpture showcases a photograph of a partially demolished building that twists and fold in on itself to mimick the structure that was razed to the ground even before it was completed. Waqif has wrapped this construction around an actual upended tree trunk to fuse man-made and natural forms into a "tornado", as he comments on the corruption determining the fabric of our cities. The art space also features works by artists like Jitish Kallat, Subodh Gupta, Stephen Cox, Anita Dubey, Mrinalini Mukherjee among others. The ticket prices for the park are Rs 50 for Indians and Rs 200 for foreigners.
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