Airports are an oasis for the multi-cultural and weary traveller. They are jump-off points to myriad journeys and adventures, while also grounding the traveller in the unique geography and culture of a region. The rasik (viewer)—most often distracted, in a hurry, and stressed—needs an anchor to the present moment. Art can put the rasik at ease, forming a tether to the wonder of a new culture and the adventure it brings. But the artwork must be alive, multi-layered, and universally understood. It must speak to the rasik.
Pryavarana (environment) or ‘that which encircles us’ is a concept that achieves this. Its components are Rtu (seasons) and Prakrati (nature), both of which are ancient and unparalleled muses inspiring terror, joy, love, disgust, and wonder… the ultimate muses of art and the Navrasa. It is through these that man has sought to understand and better himself, and upon these that civilisations have been built. It is no wonder, then, that man chose to worship what he held in such awe.
Blinding lightning, terrific thunderclaps, the scorching sun, the rush of monsoon rain, the soothing cool breeze, the glow of a firefly were all proof of power beyond man’s power. Forming the essence of Vedic philosophy within the Artha Veda, these forces were turned into Devatas (deities) and are worshiped even to this day due to the powerful emotions they inspire. Untamed even with our advanced technology, they still command our awe.
Thy summer, O earth, thy rainy season, thy autumn, winter, early spring, and spring thy decreed yearly seasons, thy days and nights shall yield us milk.
This artwork draws inspiration from the Artha Veda to recreate this natural wonder. Towering Vijayanagar temple pillars and the Dharwar Cratan boulders (which form the base of the region’s unique geological and cultural identity) open up to nature and the heavens, making this work an ever-changing temple of nature.
Connected live to technology, the artwork changes in real time depending on the weather of Bangalore/Devanhalli, tying it back to Bangalore’s famous IT culture. Multiple versions of the same scene will be created and will transform the artwork depending on if it is sunny, cloudy, thunderous, still, night-time or day—all in real time. Soothing scenes, animated with delicate movement of hair and garment to indicate a light breeze, will morph into the terror of thunderstorms that can engulf the plateau, with thunderbolts forming the base of animation. This subtle animation in each version will draw the wandering and distracted eye back to the present moment. It will prove meditative and transportive, grounding and calming the weary traveller to the new place she finds herself. After all, no conversation in Bangalore is quite complete without a discussion of its renowned weather.
Rich Indian colours and bold, recognisable elements from the region will welcome the native Bangalorean home. Furthermore, no conversation about the weather in our time can be taken out of the context of the global climate crisis. Do we still get our April showers? Have summer temperatures risen? Does the city flood more? All these questions form a natural subtext to the work, which stands as a reminder that nature is not a force to be reckoned with.
The main goal is to transport the rasik into a parallel reality, full of wonder, where she experiences the essence of her own consciousness and reflects upon the larger questions.