To commemorate 75 years of artistic and cultural friendship between India and the Netherlands, a multi-city wall painting initiative was undertaken by the Dutch embassy in India. The art initiative saw artists from the Netherlands and New Delhi create majestic murals in the capital, along with Bengaluru and Mumbai. The Delhi mural was unveiled on 20th December in the Nizamuddin FCTS area with a gathering of dignitaries, artists and city folk.
“The India-Netherlands cultural connection and cooperation has a longstanding, glorious history, and this year marks a significant milestone as the ‘Maitri’ between the two countries completes 75 years,” said Paul Huijts, Secretary-General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.
He added, “This inspiring mural art project has brought together art and artists from two different parts of the world, enhancing the people-to-people connection between India and the Netherlands and solidifying the foundation for rich cultural exchange between the nations. We hope the public will enjoy and appreciate this addition to Delhi’s vibrant public art.”
Meet the Artists
The artists who participated in creating the murals were Dutch street artists Roelof van Schierbeek, founder of Netherlands-based street art organization Mural Kings, and Laxmi Manuela, along with Indian public art enterprise Delhi Street Art.
“It took us about a week to complete this mural,” said artist Roelof van Schierbeek, adding that he had been spray painting since the age of fourteen. “What we want to achieve is to empower the Indian women,” said Schierbeek, highlighting the chosen subjects of the mural– a tiger and an Indian woman.
The painting is done on a backdrop of deep blues and orange, the colours representing the Netherlands and India, respectively. “We have chosen orange as it is part of the Indian flag and is also a royal colour for the Netherlands. So it is representative of both nations,” said Laxmi Manuela. They also hoped that this artwork would inspire women and young artists. Three more mural projects are in line to be unveiled as part of this creative collaboration.
The ambassador of the Netherlands to India, Nepal and Bhutan was also present during the unveiling. “Sustainable development is the key area of focus in our bilateral collaboration. We are focussing primarily on water, agriculture, health and climate,” he said. He added on similar artistic developments and projects in Nepal and Bhutan, “We are quite active in people-to-people connect in Nepal and Bhutan as well as sports like Football. But art is still uncharted territory over there.”