Sangeetha Alwar, 27, started making digital illustrations of Bengaluru scenes after lockdown prevented her from visiting her favourite parts of the city.

Two illustrations of scenes in Bengaluru by Sangeetha Alwar
Features Art Monday, August 02, 2021 - 17:33

If you’ve lived in Bengaluru long enough, certain sights become inextricably tied to the city — white-topped tables and tumblers of filter coffee at Airlines; the long, colourful garlands sold by flower vendors in KR Market; the delightfully chaotic stacks of books at Blossoms. It’s images like these, and more, that inspired Sangeetha Alwar to capture some of the city’s most well-known scenes through her own illustrations. 

Sangeetha, 27, started illustrating two years ago as a hobby, after years of dabbling in art. She turned her attention to Bengaluru as a source of visual inspiration, in part, because of COVID-19 and the lockdown, which prevented her from visiting areas in the city that she loved. Posting her work to social media, she has also been sharing the digital process through which her art comes to life, giving viewers a bit of insight into her artistic process. “The people and the vibe is what I missed the most,” she said. “This was one of my ways of reconnecting.” 

She started by referring to a photo posted on Faces of Bengaluru, which featured a vendor at KR Market. The image reminded her of a day she took off from college and wandered around by herself, meeting new people and taking in the city. In fact, each illustration has its own story or memory attached to it, Sangeetha said. “Blossoms has been an integral part of my Bangalore experience.”

This is not the first time that the city has motivated Sangeetha to create new forms of art. In another series, she took figures from artist Raja Ravi Varma’s paintings and juxtaposed them into photos of Bengaluru. 

Sangeetha, who is an assistant professor of English at the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media, has currently published six different illustrations and plans to create a series of 10-12 images that she will hopefully turn into a coffee table book in the near future. For her next illustrations, she has some idea of what she would like to capture — Christ University, where she completed her Master’s degree, the iconic Koshy’s restaurant and chai kadais where she would hang out with friends after college. 

As for the ones she's completed, Bengalureans will recognise the plates of dosas piled high at Vidyarthi Bhavan, the lush greenery of Cubbon Park and the friendly faces at Indian Coffee House, in Sangeetha's works of art. 

“All of them have their own reasons for me to illustrate,” she said. 

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.