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Contemporary edge to heritage sites

Statesman News Service |

The Government of Rajasthan in collaboration with the Saat Saath Arts announced the launch of the Sculpture Park at Madhavendra Palace, Nahargarh Fort, Jaipur on 10 December. This aims to turn the palace into an art gallery with sculptures by top Indian and international artists displayed both in and outdoors.

The exhibition is curated by Peter Nagy, director of Nature Morte Art Ltd, and is planned to be an annual fixture. For this year, artworks by 17 Indian and eight international artists have currently been selected to be exhibited at the Palace. All artworks for the exhibitions will be sensitively installed to ensure no damage or markings to any surface of the Palace. This partnership is a first-of-its-kind where the government has collaborated with a range of corporate sponsors and private individuals to bring a contemporary edge to India’s heritage properties, with the purpose of boosting national and international cultural tourism and visitors to the site.

Eminent individuals from leading corporations as well as renowned international galleries have also come forward to support this initiative by lending their artworks. “Our initiative is to promote India’s growing interest in contemporary art and culture whilst also embracing its important heritage. The Sculpture Park is a true amalgamation of the best of country’s past and present, made possible through a unique collaboration between the public and private sector.

Saat Saath’s endeavour has always been to showcase our country’s prowess in contemporary art, and to that end, we are thrilled to be able to bring this initiative to the public,” said Aparajita Jain, founder and director, Saat Saath Arts. Rajasthan is especially rich in architecture and is home to some of the oldest and most famous forts and palaces. The state’s cultural tourism has had a great impact after adopting the contemporary culture and launching a series of events like the renowned Jaipur Literature Festival and an international photography festival Jaipur Photo.

In collaboration with eminent professionals from diverse fields, the state also supports various contemporary visual arts, photography and music. The Sculpture Park is a great example of a public-private initiative and will encourage the government to support contemporary art in India. “For most of my career as a gallerist and curator, I have been trying to break away from the white-box exhibition space.

With this project, I am able to indulge my passions for art, architecture and decor into a marvellous synthesis of the past and the present,” said Peter Nagy, curator, The Sculpture Park. Founded in 2010 by director Jain, the Saat Saath Arts Foundation is a non-profit initiative, with headquarters in New Delhi and working with museums and galleries across the world. The foundation also supports and raises additional funds for exhibitions.

It endows international curators with resources to extend their research on Indian art practitioners, thus nurturing a vital exchange of knowledge. “The Sculpture Park will become a ‘must visit’ destination for all, but most importantly, for the contemporary art world. Free for the public, in public spaces, Jaipur is becoming a virtual museum celebrating the arts, generating pride and energising all who engage with the city,” said Malvika Singh, Chief Minister’s Advisory Council, Government of Rajasthan.