It is 13-feet-high, made of marble sourced from Makrana and it has been designed to creatively engage the community’s sense of place and well-being in society. The sculpture, which was installed a week ago on the lawns of the New Delhi Municipal Council’s Convention Centre, has a “unifying impact” on the buildings before which it stands, says artist Neeraj Gupta – the creator of the piece.
The sculpture titled Resurgence portrays the city’s evolution.
“There have definitely been a lot of positive changes in the city and it has evolved over time,” says Mr. Gupta.
“Delhi is a cosmopolitan city where people have come from all over the country. All this has contributed in one way or other to inspire this piece.”
Mapping the evolution of the city, the sculpture also “depicts the relentless spiral of energy of the people,” says the 44-year-old artist.
Mid-last year, the civic body invited artists to express interest in creating public art forms in central Delhi.
Resurgence took seven months to sculpt.
“When NDMC invited artists to pitch ideas last year, I suggested this piece which I saw as improving the aesthetics of the buildings around it. This interconnects these structures… till now there was something missing somewhere,” says Mr. Gupta, who won the Sahitya Kala Parishad Award in 2004.
Mr. Gupta feels the idea of public art is important to hold a city together. “It helps people identify themselves as being part of the city,” he says, adding that the Indian artists of today should be inspired by old Indian traditions and not look for influences from the West.
“The important thing is that public art should make a great impact on the city and should not become an eyesore,” he says.
As for his piece, which is exposed to the elements, he says: “There is no scope for damage with marble sculptures and it requires very little maintenance. Marble only gets better with time…take the instance of the Taj Mahal,” he says. “Unless someone comes with a crane, it will be very difficult to destroy the sculpture.”