Travelling always offers a different experience to different individuals; for some, it generates curiosity, and for some, it gives extreme calm. Even while revisiting familiar places, one always discovers a new dimension or a fresh impression from it. However, while one mostly garners new experiences through each travel, some factors remain constant, like the rush to get to the destination. Be it the airport, the railway station or the scenic highway; the rush one gets while they wait for their mode of transport is unexplainable. Therefore, enhancing these spaces with any art is incredibly important as it allows the waiting period to pass by with great ease and makes art easily accessible and inclusive.
Art in any form engages with all as it is an essential human expression. It aesthetically beautifies space and enhances the viewers' minds both culturally and intellectually. Airports in recent times have become a great space to showcase art due to their generous sized walls and the fact that the audience has time on their hands.
The inclusion of art as a necessary interior décor at the Mumbai and Delhi airports and the inception of Art Lounges has helped them be recognised as premier airports and make travel pleasant and exciting. The future for art at airports is bright as numerous curators have collaborated with other leading airports, showcasing some of the best works from Indian artists. Some are even working on curated projects at other international airports; this will further exchange Indian artists with international artists. It will also help promote Indian art globally and create dialogue related to the creative cross-pollination that travel can facilitate. With the foundation of a gallery, the process is made easier due to the accessible network of artists pan India and a slowly but steadily growing roster of international artists. In a post-Covid world, rebuilding travel networks and re-connecting the world is crucial. Art curators are looking forward to curating many more Art Lounges in as many airports as possible.
By Sanjana Shah, Independent Curator & Creative Director, Tao Art Gallery