Destination Delhi

Artist Nikhil Bhandari on his upcoming solo show in Rome and his sculptural work at the Capital's new terminal

Artist Nikhil Bhandari is a busy man these days, putting finishing touches to an installation he has been working on in collaboration with architect Ayush Kasliwal and his team. The work, depicting the Surya Namaskar through 12 asanas, is all set to be unveiled at the T-3 terminal at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport. This is not his first work at the newly opened airport though. His previous work is a four-feet high series of hand mudras employed in dance, and cast in fibre glass. "The moulds for the new works are ready and we are just waiting for the GMR committee to approve the material so we can go ahead and cast them," says the 42-year-old.

Bhandari began his career as a photo-journalist in the nineties, before switching over to public art. "I studied painting and sculpture at Mumbai's JJ School of Art, but it was only after I suffered a paralytic stroke that I got back to art seriously," says the Jaipur-based artist who suffered the attack in 1992. "I was bed-ridden till 1997 and my life hit rock bottom. I had a lot of time to think about life and where it was taking me," he recalls. It was then that his interest and training in art came to his rescue. "Being born in Rajasthan had predisposed me to the arts, but I was sure that I didn't want to become a miniature painter. My art is definitely inspired by my spiritual and philosophical beliefs as a Jain. But I approach this through the medium of photography and installation," he concludes.

His latest installation too therefore works on a similar spiritual theme. The artist has worked on sculptures that are over five feet talló figures of lithe-bodied youths performing the namaskar, and have rendered them in aluminium and anodised in copper. The whole thing has been mounted on a parabolic curve.

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