Bengaluru got a heavy installment of public art recently when the RMZ Tech Park installed seven works by the likes of Subodh Gupta, Dhruva Mistry, Jayashree Burman, Paresh Maity, Ravinder Reddy and Arun Kumar H G, on their premises. While the numbers maybe a novelty for the city, public art is not a new concept. Romicon Revola should know better. After all, the young artist has to her credit around 20 sculptures installed in various parts of Bengaluru.
“It is a different experience. It teaches you patience, humility and a lot about human interaction,” says Romicon, who has just finished with ‘Biosphere’, a sculptural installation at L1, L2 Block in Manyata Tech Park. The work rendered in stainless steel and glass, uses aqua blue and light turquoise green colours to remind people at Manyata about organic earth. “I hope that with these colours, the work will attract attention,” expresses Romicon, known as Romi to her friends. Romi has a team of four to 10 people, who help her in the fabrication and installation of the works.
After training in sculpture–making at the Bruce Chappel Sculpture Atelier in California, Romi returned to Bengaluru in 2004 and has been practising art since then. Mostly occupied with commissioned projects for tech parks and residences, Romi has not had a chance to create a body of work that she can exhibit in a gallery. She is now working towards creating one which is titled ‘Cosmic Bloom: Iconography for a Re–imagined World Order’. In the series, she wants to draw attention to things like sustainability, nurturing, cooperation and inter–connectedness through an eco–feministic iconography.
“It is essential to counter patriarchal capitalistic forces. We need a eco–centric approach,” says the emerging artist. There are pieces rendered in brass, steel, copper and gold for this body of work.
She has addressed the issues regarding nature through her art. For her work in Hilton in 2015, she chose the imagery of a tree, sphere and hemisphere. The steel sculptures were called ‘Urbanscape’. Her ‘Golden Bough’ series, inspired by the seminal book by the same name authored by James George Frazer in 1890, draws inspiration from nature. The book, believed to be a significant study in comparative folklore, magic and religion, motivated her to analyse interesting rituals regarding nature. And Romi used turmeric and dead tree trunks to depict some of her ideas.
The artist also used styrofoam in some of her works. “I feel happy about the fact that some of the plastic that would have gone into our oceans is being kept away through my art,” quips Romi.
About working with steel, Romi says, to start with, she also used brass like several others from her community but then moved to steel with the desire of infusing the cold industrial material with femininity and emotions. It was her childhood dream to make monuments and her artist mother, Shan Re and doctor–artist father encouraged her in the direction. If not monuments, Romi is creating monumental sculptures.
Art of the matter
Romi’s works can be seen at Cubbon Park, Hilton Hotel, EGLBP Embassy Golf Links Business Park, Manyata Tech Park, Brigade Metropolis, Brigade Tech Park, Kemwell Pvt. Ltd and Biocon India. Outside Bengaluru, she has done a huge water sculpture with stainless steel bottles and a wall mounted sculpture in Kochi.