AT THE Le Corbusier Centre in Sector 19, painter and installation artist Aarti Zaveri is lending an ear to the many observations that people have of her work ‘Mirroring the I’, which she has created especially for the ‘The Open Hand Studios’ at the Centre. Placed in the open, green space of the Centre, the installation made with steel scrap with mirror finish reflects the beauty of the outside, and Zaveri agrees it’s a work that ‘fits’ the outdoors, with the Lake, Sector 17 or a garden in Chandigarh the ideal and permanent space for it.
“Public art must be interactive, it should make the viewer feel and connect. I work with many nature artists, as we create art with natural materials and bring children and people back to nature with art. And this city has both the space and design for such projects,” says Zaveri.
Deepika Gandhi, director of the Centre, strives to create here at the Centre a special space for display of works created at the Studios and connecting with the public through exhibitions, workshops, interactions and screenings. With the Chandigarh Administration keen to promote public art, Gandhi says that it’s paramount that public art be of great quality. “It cannot be taken lightly and is a sensitive issue, so filters are necessary. I agree art cannot be in the confines of galleries and museums. Jeanneret too had designed an interactive sculpture that children could climb on and in the process touch, feel and explore the many contours of the work. I feel the need of the hour is to get children closer to art by bringing to schools installations, sculptures, workshops on art. This will help them appreciate, love, respect art and look at it in so many dimensions,” she says.
Gandhi feels that artworks must be showcased on a rotation basis even in museums, as was planned for the Leisure Valley, opposite the museum, which still has on display works by eminent sculptors. Talking of public art, Nek Chand’s Rock Garden is one of the finest examples in the country. “Yes, but when Nek Chand started, he didn’t intend it to be like that. Outsiders’ art is a term for creations made by people who are not trained in art, but later these are regarded as works of art. For public art it is important to respect the context of the area and space and then work on the scale of the work. It has to be in sync with the surroundings and space,” adds Gandhi.
Mapping open spaces, identifying spots, creating linear works for smaller spaces, giving different treatments to works according to the shape and size of a place, Gandhi says public art initiatives can be promoted by floating competitions, with a jury selecting works and creating them with CSR plans.