TALK There will be two different experiences of art in public spaces — one from Toulouse, and the other from namma Bengaluru tomorrow

Noticed the striking graffiti in Malleswaram yet? The towering image that booms ‘Ignorance is blindness of the soul’, or the imposing image of the cow? If you have, you’re familiar with the striking impact of contemporary art in public spaces. Like it or revile it, but you definitely can’t ignore it.

Two artists share stories of their different experiences with public art – Guy Claverie, Director of Communication for Public Transport in Toulouse, France, will speak on contemporary expressions of the ‘sacred’ in public spaces; he has been credited with livening up public transport journeys with art. And Archana Prasad, co-founder of Jaaga, will speak about the Malleswaram Accessibility Project (MAP).

The MAP was an experimental project held earlier this year, in association with the city’s Directorate of Urban and Land Transport (DULT), which, among other things, brought together various city-based and international artists to paint Malleswaram’s railway station, walls, and buses. The entire project was set up to diversify the visuals painted by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike – “which has one particular aesthetic, one set of content – tourism, animals, and so on.” What effect might ‘contemporary’ art have on the public, especially if the images might not be very familiar? “It’s hard to judge from our response,” Archana said over phone. While the day-long festival was well-received, the impact of the murals themselves can’t be gauged. “But the fact that they still exist, and aren’t whitewashed, a few months down, is encouraging.”

Attend ‘Contemporary Art in Public Spaces’ on November 4, at 5.30 p.m. at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Manikyavelu Mansion, 49, Palace Road. Call 22342338 for details.