The walls of Rajnigandha Underpass at the end of the DND flyover have become a canvas for a group of Fine Arts students and professors, who have been tasked with painting them around the theme of ‘environment’ by the Noida Authority.
The beautification is being carried out by artists in collaboration with the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, dedicated to contemporary and modern art. With nature as its theme, colourful birds are being hand-painted on the walls. The Noida Metro Rail Corporation had earlier hired the same team to paint graffiti and murals on pillars of four Metro stations on their newly inaugurated Aqua Line.
Santosh Kumar, a 28-year-old Fine Arts professor in Jamia Millia Islamia, is monitoring the process. He stands next to a makeshift bamboo stand as students perch on various levels to paint their sections. With each stroke, the painting of a parrot is given symmetrical edges and cuts, in line with a modern touch.
“We began painting in January, and hope to complete the project in two months. It’s a difficult task, as all people working are students. They paint from 8 am to 1 pm during weekdays, and attend college in the second half. These are talented people with an eye for different, quirky art,” Kumar said.
The team members also works as an informal group called ‘Immature Artists’, involved in street art projects across NCR. “The name was picked as we want to be judged on our rugged looks. We want people to look at our art and let it speak for itself. So we took their judgment and gave it back to them. We have painted Metro pillars and worked on other projects,” Kumar said.
Noida Authority officials said the designs are first approved by the department and artists are then given a brief. “We have done similar beautification with the Swachh Bharat theme. This is one of several projects we will undertake. The theme is environment and nature,” said Rajeev Tyagi, general manager of the authority.
Abhishek (25), a Delhi College of Arts student, said the stress of managing time between college and this work is nothing compared to the joy he gets in painting. “We get our colours prepared using machines. The paints are exterior emulsion. When we need a colour which is unavailable, we create it by mixing on the palette. It’s wonderful when the colourful birds take a final shape. It’s almost like they are alive,” he said.