SPREAD OVER three-and-a-half acres, Kalagram’s Sculpture Park is one of the largest in the country, with more than 220 works created by sculptors from across India, since its inception in 2002. An endeavour of the North Zone Cultural Centre, workshops organised every month by inviting sculptors working in different mediums like wood, terracotta, variety of stones and marble have resulted in this large collection, which is open to the public and free of cost. The park has works by eminent sculptors like Latika Katt, Shiv Singh, Biman Bihari Dass, M Dhirmani, Suresh Sharma, Pankaj Gahlot, and also by young and upcoming sculptors from the region and students from art colleges.
At the workshops the sculptors are free to experiment, explore and create with the material provided to them. “I remember Latika Katt was supposed to make one sculpture for the park, but she loved the space and the freedom it offered so much, that she stayed on to create a beautiful work inspired by the ghats of Benaras. Realistic, abstract, inspired from temples, the themes are varied, and the idea of creating the park was to reach out to the public, and not just a niche audience. We wanted common people, who are hesitant to walk into museums and galleries, to look at works of art and in the process develop curiosity and love for it. The park, entry to which is free, has visitors from varied walks of life, and many times I have seen children from the nearby slums spending hours here, with regular visits by school and college students. One day, I saw a rickshaw-puller looking at a sculpture intently and he shared how the work took him back to the motifs his mother made on walls, back in the village. It’s like an open exhibition, and a work in progress, with each sculpture telling a story,” says Jaswinder Singh, programme officer, Kalagram, who initiated the idea of a park here.
Singh hopes to add terracotta, fibre and metal sculptures to the park and divide the display according to the themes of sculptures over the course of time. “The next step is to have some works which are functional, which children can use to play and also increase the number of workshops and provide different stones to sculptors to create work and in the process, add some colour to the park,” says Singh.