Urban Sketchers Delhi chart out panoramic landscape and surroundings

There are several ways to capture the essence of a city. But, no one can bring out the nuances and characteristics of a space better than an artist.

author_img Dyuti Roy Published :  22nd November 2021 12:28 PM   |   Published :   |  22nd November 2021 12:28 PM
Jawaharlal Nehru Bhawan

A sketch of Jawaharlal Nehru Bhawan

There are several ways to capture the essence of a city. But, no one can bring out the nuances and characteristics of a space better than an artist. By pictorially charting out every detail of the city's landscape and surroundings on an empty canvas, artists can bring to life every bustling corner or a serene location.

Urban Sketchers Delhi (USkD), the city chapter of the Urban Sketchers movement started by American journalist Gabriel Campanario in 2007, is a group of creative individuals who have been doing exactly this since 2017.

Meeting every Sunday, the members - who are now a community of over 100 artists from different parts of Delhi-NCR - sketch different locations of the city. Kiranmai Atla (40), a doctor from Faridabad, who was at the USkD's 196th meeting at Dilli Haat, INA on Sunday, said, "I have always had a passion for art, and urban sketching gives a personal touch to the surroundings. I got to know of this group a month ago through Facebook [now Meta] and since then I've been a regular member."

A new art concept

Greater Kailash resident Niraj Gupta (65), the founder of the Delhi chapter, was introduced to this movement on one of his trips to New York. "We are a group of enthusiastic people who want to create visuals of the city we live in. The community is open to all; anyone with a passion for art can join us," he shared.

While they have sketched almost every nook and corner of the Capital, the group sometimes revisits their old haunts. Their sketches of buildings around Lutyens' Delhi were presented at an exhibition at India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road during summer this year.

"Our motto is simple. We are art lovers who present the city from our varied perspectives. The city is constantly changing and we try to represent her through that constant change," Gupta added. 

An array of perspectives

Amid the hustle and bustle of the fifth edition of 'Aadi Mahotsav', the National Tribal Festival, which began on November 16 and will continue till November 30, 10 sketchers positioned themselves at different areas in the market.

The idea was to create their visual representation of the ongoing event. Dipankar Mazumdar (50) an architect from Saket, said, "Nowadays, most of our work is confined to computers and it feels like we have been losing the feeling of a pen or pencil in our hands. Urban sketching helps me connect with the moment. For example, in today’s event I have sketched my perspective of the festival and I’m sure others have sketched theirs."

Age not being a barrier to be part of this group, the members vary from senior citizens to millennials. One such artist is Subhash Bezawada (24) from Malviya Nagar, who recently joined USkD. Bezawada was extremely excited about the event, which was his second, post joining the community.

"Just the fact that they paint outdoors drew me to the concept. I feel like there is a sort of vulnerability outside where people are looking while I sketch, and that’s a sort of challenge," he said. With regular outdoor meetings back in full swing, the 200th event of USkD is scheduled to be organised on December 19. 

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