Works of art in Hyderabad left to rot

Almost nine years after having appeared under flyovers, city squares, arteries as art, expressing themselves on biodiversity, works of art no longer attract attention. While some of the murals under the Panjagutta flyover have lost their original hue, some have been torn from their place.

Artworks near Patny Circle are no longer visible under the grime and dust created by heavy traffic. CV Ambaji’s Thinking Money sculpture was ripped from its location near Biodiversity Park and can now be found a few feet away near Mindspace Junction. It’s barely visible.

It seems the city was never beautified for the biodiversity meeting known as the Conference of the Parties (CoP11). “No maintenance. No problem. There is no money to take care of the artwork, ”says Ramana Reddy, whose artwork was part of the art project in 2012 and can still be seen under Patny’s flyover.

“There has been no encouragement for art. The few works of art that have been commissioned show animals. I think after the biodiversity conference all the artists in Hyderabad became drawn to animal motifs, ”says Reddy. Incidentally, the Telangana Martyrs Memorial at the end of Tank Bund Road is a creation of Mr. Reddy.

Much of the artwork during CoP11 was executed by students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University of Architecture and Fine Arts. The artwork has been left to rot with no sense of ownership and the sheer size of the canvas, be it sculptures or murals.

“There was no maintenance of the art that was commissioned at the time. Much of it has disappeared or has become invisible, ”explains artist and curator Avani Rao Gandra.

While urban art installations are part of the big city branding efforts, in Hyderabad there has been no movement despite commissioning expensive art. “There has to be a civic sense and an awareness of art. Art gives us visual relief while we are driving or when tourists or visitors come to town. We should use social media to raise awareness about art, ”says Ms. Gandra.

Forget the civic sense, the space under Panjagutta’s flyover has now become a haven for drunkards and tramps. On Thursday, a dead dog floated in the small water channel below the flyover while the yellow color of the Kathakali dancer and Banjari dancer looked like shades of brown under a layer of soot and grime.

Christopher S. Washington