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A tale of 100 cities: Bengaluru-based artist Archana Pereira wants to capture 100 Indian cities through her sketches

Vallabh Rao
10th Aug 2017
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Architect Archana Pereira’s Ink Trails celebrates her love for architecture and travel. Her latest project, 100 days of Incredible India, comprises illustrations that capture the ethos of 100 Indian cities. 

An architect by education, Archana Pereira was always keen on sketching. She completed her bachelor’s in architecture from the University School of Design, Mysore, and master’s from Glasgow School of Art. But her love for travel and architecture combined in Ink Trails, which she founded to capture her illustrations of popular city landmarks.

Archana now works on travel-related merchandise and commissioned artworks. The architect-turned-artist’s work was featured in the Kala Ghoda Art Festival in February 2017 and was part of the Young Talent Programme at Alliance Francaise in June 2016.

Her latest project is 100 days of Incredible India, under which she’s working on illustrations that capture the ethos of Indian cities.

“The 100 days project goes by the hashtag 100daysofincredibleindiabyinktrails, where I intend to document the diversity in our country in terms of its architecture, festival, lifestyle, culture and the contrasting natural landscape found in different corners of India via a series of 100 illustrations. It was intended to be completed in 100 days but that didn’t work out as I had to travel for a month. However, I will be completing the 100 illustrations of Incredible India.” Archana says.

Archana chooses interesting and lesser-known facts about each city, and tries to bring those landmarks to life through her sketches.

“It's not just urban landscapes that I want to showcase, but also the little places and culture in our country that's unknown to many of us. A lot of our heritage structures and architecture are disappearing or are poorly maintained. Our country is so rich in terms of architecture and way of life, but there are so many interesting facts that we hardly know. I intend to bring those out as part of this series,” she says.

The first sketch in the project was that of Bengaluru with its characteristic trees and traffic; it was received extremely well as it resonated with people living in the city. That's when Archana began illustrating her travel experiences and sketching cities, their architecture and lifestyle.

Archana went on to put up stalls at flea markets in Bangalore, including Kitsch Mandi and The Sunday Soul Sante, to showcase her work. She is currently working on opening up her art studio on Residency Road in Bangalore where she will display and sell her work.

Why Indian cityscapes

Archana finds Indian cities, their architecture, the people and their lifestyle “a big inspiration”.

“The diversity in our country yet the similarities is very interesting. I began capturing cityscapes as a way of recording my memories of different travel experiences. Then I began sketching everything I loved about Bangalore, and moved on to other cities such as Mumbai,” she says, explaining how the 100 days project started.

The project has been a challenging sketching exercise and was initially supposed to be one drawing a day.

“But I was unable to do that as I was travelling for a month. I'm now determined to complete the 100 illustrations but not necessarily sticking to a timeline. I end up doing a lot of research about each place and try bringing out some unknown facts about the area/city,” she says.

Some of the interesting facts she has highlighted in her sketches include:

  • The Howrah Bridge in Kolkata is 705m long and was built with no nuts and bolts. The entire structure is riveted.
  • Mumbai's local train network is a part of the first railway network built in India, which opened in the year 1853.
  • Kadur Club in Chikmagalur is located in the heart of the city. Membership is restricted only to the planter’s community in the area.

Till now, Archana has already sketched landmarks in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Pondicherry, Agra, Leh, Delhi, and many more. But she’s not resting content till she finishes the promised hundred.

Check out some of Archana’s sketches below:

 


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