JAIPUR. ART FOR ALL & AN ITALIAN RESTAURANT.
Text: Diego Alonso & Alexeja Pozzoni. · Photos: The Sculpture Park, Bar Palladio. Thierry Journo.
From almost any corner in Jaipur you can spot the Nahargarth Fort far on the hill. As many forts in India, it is open to visitors to encounter the legacy of a time when monumental construction was key for rulers to be able to protect their people from outside invaders. Times has changed, long back, and museum like properties proliferate all over Rajasthan, generally not offering more than a carcase of what it was, glimpses of a long gone grandiloquence.
The Sculpture Park project is the exception to the rule in this matter. Cleverly the promoters of this project has converted the decaying splendorous fort into a contemporary art museum showcasing worldwide established artists as Richard Long and successful upcoming local artists as Prashant Pandey. Site-specific installations blend with walls and chambers of the past, being the first place in India where XXI century art is available to general public in this way, out of conventional museums or galleries.
Down the fort we lunch with Kavita owner of Jaipur Rugs a weaving production house with a big impact on keeping alive the art of carpet making by employing more than three thousand weavers in remote villages all around Rajasthan.
We took the road down to Bar Palladio, the only place in Rajasthan where eating Italian food is not a bad joke, on the contrary, is better than many restaurants in Italy. Barbara Miolini created this oasis in the city of Jaipur with this aim. There we met with the beautiful Noelle Kadar (one of the thinking heads behind the Sculpture Park) and she introduced us to Thierry Journo from IDLIi, a curious art-fashion-design workshop within the Narain Niwas Palace Hotel compound (as Palladio). The new creative hub developing in Jaipur as the city grows is very exciting. All this magnificent artist and art entrepreneurs from India and all over the world give to the “Pink city” a spark of creativity.