Magenta line stations of Delhi Metro to turn waste into taste

Over the years, Delhi Metro stations have emerged as a platform to showcase public art and the upcoming Magenta Line will not be any different. Except for one — many of its 25 stations will showcase artwork made from waste material.

The type of discarded material being used for the artwork on the 38.23km-long Janakpuri West-Botanical Garden corridor (Line 8) include motherboard of computers, keyboard keys, loudspeakers, used mobile phones, metal buckets and used metal paint drums. Many of them will be three-dimensional with relief work and use of materials such as glazed handmade tiles, CNC cut metal screens, fibre glass, printed glass, metallic washers and SS sheets.

"To install artworks at various stations, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) invited artwork proposals from artists through a newspaper advertisement. About 13 artists applied and submitted around 300 artworks," said a spokesperson. "The thematic artworks for 10 stations involving seven artists have been selected," he added.

Like its newly opened heritage corridor between ITO and Kashmere Gate, where DMRC has tried to capture the essence of Old Delhi, the Magenta Line stations too will be thematic, showcasing the ethos of the areas they are passing through. "For instance, the Kalkaji station showcases the nearby Lotus Temple, IIT and Jamia Millia Islamia stations are about students and learning, Hauz Khas station showcases monuments, Okhla Bird Sanctuary station is based on theme of birds," said a senior DMRC official.

Delhi Metro has selected the locations for these artworks in a way so that these do not distract passengers and slow down movement, the official said. "The other criteria we have to look for are that the artworks are long lasting, maintenance-free and cost-effective. Also, these cannot be fire hazards and that's why we can't use canvasses.”

While DMRC has come up with the themes, the artists are free to depict them in their own way, he added.

Delhi Metro has used various artwork - murals, paintings, photographs, ceramic work, textiles and archival photos - to enrich commuters' journey. This has also provided exposure to many established and budding artists.