The lane off Hailey Road that leads into Agrasen ki Baoli is a quiet, unobtrusive area with open spaces — thus perfect for artists Sergio Cordeiro, 25, and Harsh Raman Singh Paul, 27. The Brazilian Cordeiro and the Mumbai-based Paul wanted to represent their cultures through paintings made on the walls of Delhi, and Hailey Road offered a perfect canvas. The duo wanted to paint in the open, chat with the aam aadmi and, finally, leave behind their artwork in the charge of the elements, MCD and, hopefully, a fan. The idea, called Brinda Project, found takers in the Brazilian embassy and around October, the duo got to work.
The first painting, deep inside Hauz Khas Village, shows a person wearing the traditional white costume of a samba dancer offering a flower to a sari-clad skeleton. Both figures are perched on a see saw against a tree of life. “The work, which also bears the words ‘Enjoy the ride’ and ‘Rejoice the End’, is meant to show the pure, almost mother-child, relationship between life and death. The children from Hauz Khas Village who crowded around us while we painted, and passers-by, however, offered us many other interpretations and, strangely, they were equally right,” says Paul, who, in his other life, is an Assistant Director with films such as Aarakshan in his CV.
The painting opposite Agrasen ki Baoli stretches across 30 metre. On a crumbling wall, the vivid colours depict waves bobbing with images of gods and symbols that fight the evil eye, from the Indian nazar battu to the Brazilian criancas, from Ganesh to St Mary. “Both Brazil and India are full of believers and have a strong religious component. We wanted to express this similarity through this painting,” says Paul.
After these images of life, death and faith, the duo signed off with colourful dances. Against the backdrop buzz of traffic near Green Park Metro Station, the artists created a visual illusion of a samba dancer metamorphosing into an Indian classical dancer through a series of six images.
“ We made successive changes in costume and appearance in the figures so that traffic flowing from left to right would see the Indian classical dancer change into a samba dancer and vice versa,” says Paul, adding that the Brinda Project will soon be the subject of a book and documentary by independent filmmakers Amanda Servulo and Carina De Borros.