`Tigers everywhere`: Delhi to be centre of unique campaign

Life-size tiger art works will be dotted around Delhi for conservation of big cats.

Updated: Dec 05, 2010, 11:29 AM IST

New Delhi: Life-size tiger art works will
be dotted around Delhi`s favourite public spaces -- the Metro
stations, theatres and restaurants -- for a few months in a
unique initiative to draw public attention and raise funds for
conservation of big cats.

The `ArTiger` initiative, as it is called, brings
together artists, corporate houses and conservationists at
across over 50 public locations here, including the two Dilli
Haats, the India Habitat Centre, ISBT, airport and malls.

The tiger figures created by artists will be displayed
for public viewing for at least three months before they are
wrapped up and taken away by corporate houses.

As many as 56 corporates have pledged Rs 1.5 lakh each
and the sculptures will be randomly allotted to them through a
lucky draw on December 19.

Inspired by London`s `Elephant Parade` that is an
innovative fundraising and public awareness campaign for the
endangered Asian elephant, the ArTiger initiative is set to
collect around Rs 45 lakh that will ultimately go to the
Ranthambore Foundation that works in the field of tiger
conservation.

"The idea was born while we were witnessing the
Elephant Parade London this summer. It was then we thought
about replicating it in Delhi for tiger conservation," said
Swapan Seth, managing partner of art house Henry S Clark and
one of the brains behind the initiative.

He was joined in by art curator Aprajita Jain and
Nandita Baig of a Delhi-based NGO, in conceptualising the
event and crafting its implementation. The initiative also got
a backing from the Delhi government.

"It took Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit just four
minutes to say yes to the initiative," Seth said.

Some 58 renowned artists including the likes of
Anjolie Ela Menon and Anjum Singh joined the campaign with
each one of them creating his or her own signature art piece
in fibre glass for the tiger, the works that will begin to get
displayed on December 20, a day after they are allotted to the
corporates.

"Some of the tigers works are already in the city and
some are on their way," said Baig.

She said the organisers were clearing out the logistic
arrangements for the display of the art works on Metro
stations across Delhi, besides in PVR theatres, Olive
restaurants and Fortis hospitals, among other centres.

This is an idea to bring the tiger back into the
collective consciousness, she said. The implementation of the mammoth undertaking -- the
largest public art display the country has ever witnessed --
is being carried out by Saat Saath Arts, an NGO that uses art
to generate funds and awareness on public issues.

"Art in public spaces is a highly potent awareness
tool especially in a diverse country like India as it
transcends all boundaries," said Arpita Jain.

The Ranthambore Foundation that would benefit from the
funds raised by the initiative will utilise the money in its
activities around the National Park where it works to educate
villagers for tiger conservation and other such activities.

Chairman of the foundation Bharat Kapur is ecstatic
about the initiative.

"The artists get an opportunity to express themselves
on an unfamiliar, but exciting and well defined, format for
public display. Delhi gets to experience the art in it`s
public spaces for 3 months. Collector`s get unusual work by
great artists at great value. The tiger gets talked about.

Major positives for everybody involved," he says.

PTI