Lodhi Colony was the last housing estate build by the British, which bears a rich history in Delhi's timeline for its iconic architecture. Since 2015, 50 renowned street artists from across the world have been invited by St+Art India Foundation to create the Lodhi Art District making it India's first art district now visited by the every day individual to foreign tourists and international dignitaries.
New Delhi by NeSpoon
NeSpoon is a Polish artist known to create large scale murals that are inspired by patterns of lace - a material used by women for the longest time. Along with the women at the Aga Khan Foundation, NeSpoon developed patterns that could be adapted onto fabric while also introducing them to stencil making and spray painting techniques. These designs were later reinterpreted by the surroundings of Lodhi which then became the essence of the mural.
NeSpoon in Lodhi Art District 2019 by NeSpoonSt+art India
Painted in celebration of womanhood and femininity, this mural was inaugurated on Women's day, 8th March 2019.
The Tourist by Avinash and Kamesh
The inspiration for this wall comes from the social media and smartphone revolution. While working in Lodhi Colony, the artists observed how a lot of people came every day to click pictures of the murals and the work of the artists, taking selfies and group shots, or posing for fashion shoots. As a response, the artists turned the lens towards the viewer, as a comment on the selfie generation and on the nature of street art as well.
Impressions of Lodhi by Yip Yew Chong
Yip Yew Chong is a Singaporean artist known for replicating everyday scenes onto the street, thus relating to wide ranging people and contexts. Through a soulful representation of the landscape, and people of Lodhi Colony, the artist gives an ode to to the life of the common man and the people who make Lodhi Colony what it is today.
Yip Yew Chong at Lodhi Art District by Yip Yew ChongSt+art India
Creating pieces that invite the viewer to become a part of them, Yip Yew's work is an interactive use of public space. Seen here - Mr B K Singh from Khanna Market who took care of the team and artists with tea and snacks everyday.
Lavanya by Henrik
'Lavanya' (grace), is the portrait of Vimla, a lady that works at Old Khanna Market in Lodhi Colony, where she sells paranthas/Indian bread on the streets - something which is rare for a woman of her social class. Inspired by her sense of independence and dedication, Hendrik wanted to pay tribute to women who do so much in their lives balancing multiple things and running families and business, yet are mostly anonymous heroes through their lifetimes.
Henrik in Lodhi Art District 2016 by HenrikSt+art India
The mural stands for all women who endure several struggles in their lives, performing multiple roles, yet maintain the utmost grace in all their endeavours - a reminder to find beauty in the ordinary.
Original Aborginal by Reko Rennie
Reko Rennie's practice is based on a representation of his indigenous heritage and the Kamilaroi people. Using traditional geometric patterns that represent his community, Rennie provokes discussions surrounding indigenous culture and identity in contemporary urban environments.
Order in Chaos by DALeast
Travelling through India, DALeast experienced the ‘order in chaos’ that is synonymous with the country. Drawing inspiration from that notion, he combined it with the philosophies of Buddhism to create a piece that speaks about the journey towards Nirvana — a flock of birds swarming and clamouring to get to the central arch, some make it, some fall by the wayside.
Dead Dahlias by Amitabh Kumar
This mural links to the historical roots of Delhi, dating back to the Pandava’s, who after losing a game of dice were exiled to Khandavaprastha – The City of Ruins. Krishna’s magic turned Khandavaprastha into Indraprastha – The City of Gods. The dead dahlias represent Delhi as a city of magic which is now crumbling apart, going back into a state of ruins.
Don't Let This Symbolism Kill Your Heart by Nafir
The piece is a commentary on women’s rights in the eastern part of the world and depicts the profile of a woman shadowed by traditional thoughts and customs. The Persian motifs on the face of the woman are a symbol of this intricate and at times oppressive culture, which on the other hand is extremely rich and actually lead by women. Nafir painted an antenna around the woman’s neck to highlight the hypocrisy of our current social system. It symbolises the contradiction of the lives of women as depicted on the internet versus the lives they actually live.
Amma by Blaise
Indian artist Blaise Joseph chose to make the portrait of a mother figure who has diverse manifestations. As mother nature, she is carrying the memories of lost lands- in an urban context, our cities, which are becoming concrete jungles are inhabited by people who are all, in some way, migrants, and hence the concrete jungle reminds them of their own mothers and mother nature represented in forests and agricultural lands, whom they have been compelled to leave behind.
Padma by Chifumi
One of the first pieces made in the Lodhi Art District, this mural was inspired by Padma Mudra — a symbolic Indian hand gesture to depict a lotus. The piece is a celebration of the Indian national flower as well as the values it symbolizes: enlightenment, purity, wisdom. The mudra is framed by Khmer patterns from Cambodia that is reminiscent of the Mughal patterns characteristic of Delhi's heritage.
Untitled by David Lietner
Austrian artist, David Lietner depicts the repercussions of the global plastic consumption through a mural with bold monochrome brush stokes. The artwork is a combination of his first impressions of the country which left him in awe by its diversity in culture and visual landscape, but at the same time addressing the growing problem of plastic consumption as a global phenomenon.
From Strength, I weave beauty by Shilo Shiv Suleman
Shilo worked with the women of Sewing New Futures to create this piece that talks about the hidden lives and sadness of generations of trafficked women. Two women, one old and the other younger, can be seen emerging from the mist of Delhi to reveal their stories, fearlessly demystifying their presence.
From Your Strength, I Weave Beauty Shilo Shiv Suleman (2015-12-25/2016-02-28) by Shilo Shiv SulemanSt+art India
The Sewing New Futures team engaged women subjected to trafficking in the Najafgarh community in a participatory process to help bring this piece to life in one week as a celebration of the female spirit.
This Must Be The Place by Georgia Hill + Hanif Kureshi
In a site specific collaboration with artist Hanif Kureshi, Georgia Hill reimagined a phase she is popularly known for using in her murals - "This must be the place". After visiting Old Delhi to learn more about Indian sign painting and hand lettering, the artists decided to embed the Hindi word for 'here' - 'Yahan', with the English word 'Must' - layered into one another with Georgia's signature style.
Time Changes Everything by DAKU
Inspired by Egyptian sundials, DAKU decided to use shadow as a medium to talk about the ephemeral nature of life. The typographic piece ingeniously visualises the concept of time by playing with letters that cast an evolving shadow through the day, speaking metaphorically of all the things in life that change over time. Every day, throughout the year, this piece comes alive between 9AM to 3PM and disappears with the fading sun.
How is Global Warming by Gaia
Gaia explores the impact of green house gasses and gloabal warming on our society. Using the arch of the wall, he made the Shish Gumbad, known as the glass dome in the Lodhi colony area, right in the center of the composition. Behind it, a Victorian botanical garden plays with the concept of greenhouse gases. This pairing is flanked by two hands emerging from the water signifying hope and despair. On either sides of the wall, the artist has painted one inflated globe and one deflated globe, to show the effects that globalization has on our planet.
Lek & Sowat and Hanif Kureshi in Lodhi Art District 2016 by Lek Sowat and Hanif KureshiSt+art India
After speaking with children of the community, Hanif Kureshi decided to write the text 'We love Delhi' in Devanagari to create an artwork which everyone in the neighbourhood could relate to and enjoy.
We Love Colour - A Rangoli for Holi (2017-03-04) by Hanif KureshiSt+art India
For the festival of colors: Holi, Hanif Kureshi revisited this mural to create a special project with the neighbourhood children.
Nature's Arch and Visions of Altered Landscapes by Aaron Li Hill
In this mural, Li-Hill uses local narratives from India and Canada to depict the challenges of climate change by incorporating the architecture of the building to create a wonderful symmetry in his artwork. While on the left side of the mural there is an Indian boy and a tiger representing the eastern part of the world, on the right there is a polar bear and a woman representing the west.
Aaron Li Hill in Lodhi Art District 2018 by Aaron Li HillSt+art India
The artist uses movement, speed and powerful poses of his subjects to indicate optimism and the power we all have to bring about a change.
Balance in Mind and Spirit by Saner
Saner uses elements he observed Old Delhi to create a balanced canvas that puts together a crossover between Indian and Mexican imageries. On the each sides, a man and a woman represent the order and balance in the universe, their clothes and adornments identify Mexican and Hindu traditions that create a bridge between the two cultures.
Saner in Lodhi Art District 2018 by SanerSt+art India
The rich diversity of the two countries are also represented by nature. This is an important motif for Saner since he wants people to remember that we are one within the planet and its natural beauty has to be protected.
Inkbrushnme in Lodhi Art District 2016 by InkbrushnmeSt+art India
Presented on the wall are the many forms of Vishnu, the supreme God. Matter to antimatter, everything exists in this elaborate painting.
Crazy Katha Twins by Harsh Raman
Through this piece, Harsh Raman attempts to merge Kathakali, a storytelling dance form from the south of India that uses gestures and no words, with today's medium of no words — street art. Using blackboard paint in the lower part of the composition, the piece creates an open canvas for the neighbourhood children to draw and explore their creativity.
Pink by Dwa Zeta
DWA ZETA chose abstract forms that reflect the flow and infrastructure of Delhi’s streets — the flyovers and roundabouts — that reflect their impressions of the hectic, crowded, yet potent and colourful nature of the capital. They felt that the city is lacking in equality for women, therefore, they chose bright pink as the background colour for their wall to figuratively mark the female element in a public space, paying tribute to women who are afraid of being visible, to empower them, reclaim their space and establish the city as their own.
Miniature Painting by Mahendra Pawar
With the advent of technology and digital printing, a lot of old Indian hand traditions are being forgotten, Shekhawati painting being one of them. Mahendra Pawar from the region of Samode is an exponent of this vanishing tradition, a style of painting which is a folk tradition native to the state of Rajasthan.Plant-like arabesques, architectural features and geometric patterns are common subjects for the panels that divide the walls in spandrels of arches in Shekhawati paintings (miniature art).
Facing Walls by Bicicleta Sem Freio
A collective of two, Bicicleta Sem Freio painted two murals in Lodhi Colony. Both artists used nature as a gateway to express their love for colors. Douglas explored the city’s parks and gardens, portrayed various forms of leaves and flowers that he had observed. He was fascinated by the element of the hands which he saw painted in several shapes and contexts all around Delhi.
Bicicleta Sem Ferio in Lodhi Art District 2016 by Bicicleta sem freioSt+art India
The vibrant walls organically blend with the local landscape and the people, while the elements also pop with their psychedelic colours and flowing forms within itself.
Bicicleta Sem Ferio in Lodhi Art District 2016 by Bicicleta sem freioSt+art India
On the other hand, Renato’s work is centred around the Oriental Pied Hornbill. A dense flow of various shapes seems to emerge from the ground, embracing the bird and creating an engaging scenario for the viewer.
Fusion Art by Rakesh
Created in the Gond style of painting, the mural emphasises the importance of maintaining a balance within the ecosystem. It sheds light on the issue of the receding natural habitat that causes an adverse impact on the animals that occupy this space. Rakesh ingeniously optimises the wideness of the wall by centring the composition around an elephant whose tusks grow into branches that scale the length of the wall while playing with the shadows of the real trees in a complete integration between the mural and the surrounding
Sans Serifs, No Letters by Shoe
For this mural, Shoe did something he has never done before — he painted a poem that he wrote himself. Being a writer for over 35 years, Shoe combined several influences, his love for lettering mixed with calligraffiti, along with his love for plants, to create this piece. He used traditional Indian brooms made of dry grass available at every corner shop to show how nature is the original creator and the artist is a catalyser of its messages. This piece also relies on the integration of traditional elements- such as natural brooms and calligraphy - and the urban reality of graffiti.
See Through / See Beyond by Nevercrew
Nevercrew painted the astronaut, a recurring character in their paintings symbolising the greatness of mankind’s achievements, at the top of the wall as a metaphor for someone who can see things from a different perspective, a silent viewer of a larger picture. In this case, he is a witness to the daily activities of Lodhi Colony. A white light can be seen entering the meteor, and after passing through it gets refracted, a commentary about how everyday occurrences when viewed with artistic or creative vision become something more.
The Origin of The World by Borondo
Responding to the maternity hospital across the road, this piece is Borondo’s take on the famous painting of the same title by Gustave Courbet. He uses the open arch in the middle of the wall and the tree which inhabits it as a metaphor for origin — a river, the source of life, flows through the arches into infinity and a boat that reflects the journey of life. Borondo regards this entire scene as synonymous with the birth of a child, who has to pass through a mother's womb to begin its journey. This painted perspective seems abstract when viewed up close but it reveals itself when observed from a distance, exactly like life.
Swaach Bharat by Painter Kafeel
Painter Kafeel and his team painted Swachh Bharat in his signature style using bold typefaces. By involving these local street painters, who have been rapidly going out of business with the advent of local DTP (Desktop Publishers), St+art India Foundation aims to support this art form and restore its presence in the contemporary practice while spreading positive messages.
Colors of Soul by Senkoe
Across several cultures, birds are a symbol of diversity, identity and freedom. Often migratory travellers, they are also creatures that see and experience many different places/things and hence have a lot of stories to tell. Inspired by the beauty of nature, Senkoe painted these birds in Lodhi colony to represent the colourful diversity of the people who live there and also to encourage them to communicate with each other and share stories, just like the birds would.
The Lotus by Suiko
Suiko takes the national flower of India and re-imagines it with his signature curved lines and Japanese characters to create this mural for the Lodhi Art District. Being a pioneer of the graffiti art movement in Japan, Suiko explores newer ways of writing his name, a constant element in all his figurative compositions. By incorporating the tones and colours of the neighbourhood along with a red sun that denotes Japan — the land of the rising sun — Suiko has left behind a unique gift for the people of Lodhi.
These Rock Pigeons Chose the Trees by Adele Renault
Through her work in Lodhi Colony, Adele celebrated one of the most common sight in cities which are often considered ordinary, for her are magnificent creatures full of beauty and grace. The pigeons by Adele are already something notable at a distance, but the real impact of her work comes through the artist’s sheer talent in detailing the hues of the birds; once seen up close.
Social Media Friendly Plants by Sameer Kulavoor
Through this mural, Sameer Kulavoor depicted a new way of understanding algorithms in this new millennium. He created a composition consisting of elements that multiply into an algorithm pattern, wherein individuals are seen photographing Instagram friendly plants, while some photograph themselves. According to the artist, these low maintenance 'pretty-pinterest-plants' are also like fast fashion, extremely social media friendly and can help you 'garner a few hundred likes' easily.
Sameer Kulavoor in Lodhi Art District 2019 by Sameer KulavoorSt+art India
Lodhi Art District continues to be cultural hub, inviting people of all creative practices to engage with their city, and bringing together people from all walks of life to have shared collective experiences within the geography of India's first public art district.