The Gallery opens with Julian Opie's 'Winter' art collection

The British Council surrounding gardens

When it was a chance to 'hang-out' for an evening at the British Council in New Delhi, there was always the strong inclination to take up the offer and make good. The building has always been a nice place to be in, and it proved to be nicer with the launch of 'The Gallery' with Julian Opie's 'Winter' collection of art pieces. His works, mostly dominated by themes from the British countryside, shows a lot of the winter one might get to see in selected parts of France. 


 A countryside painting

Most of Julian Opie's works capture the similar theme of the the winter season, which was a bit misplaced, considering the unveiling during the nasty Delhi summer. Taking an optimists view, one could say that the relief came in the form of visual art, reminding people of what they ought to be missing in present conditions. 

The man himself, Julian Opie

While the majority of the crowd waited for Julian Opie, he managed to give the event a miss for his other engagements elsewhere. Never the less, the director of British Council, Rob Lynes was quiet the conversational entertainer.  Apart from his introduction to keep the audience interested, he did put in his words of diplomacy rather swift and perfectly so; "The exhibition displays a form of art which is fresh and captivating to the eye and also a step forward in building cultural connections between the UK and India through artistic exchange. The UK has a new government which will look for ways to strengthen its relationship with India. The arts and culture are an important part of that relationship and the British Council will continue to work with partners to support this."

Another dimension of the French landscape

The Winter collection of art by Julian Opie, centres around the captures beauty of the French landscape as seen on Google Maps. The images were taken during a beautiful day, which could be termed 'harsh' by some European standards. The main influences of these paintings also come from some of what has been captured from the 17th century Dutch landscape. 

 Endless greens
 
As being someone who has mostly stayed in concrete jungle settlements of busy cities, these views are seriously tempting. It is as if one yearns to leave everything behind just to stay beneath the open skies, and nature in its purest of forms. In other words, this is the city-dweller's ideal 'paradise' for a time away from the usual rigours of life. 

 
Fish and chips served with style

Taking a break from the visual dream, it was time to be diverted to the food being served. Amongst the Canape, were many delicious options as seen in the menu below, but a personal favorite was the Sundried Tomato Bruschetta, and the Fig & Goat Cheese Crostini. But then, how can one take away the very British the very common 'Fish & Chips' in cones (with tartar sauce), as seen above.

The menu on display

Till the next time the British Council invites, the evening well spent will be remembered for quite sometime to come. 

A few more glimpses from the evening follows:  

 Rob Lynes making his speech

 Rob Lynes and Gulam Sheikh 
 
Some decent flower arrangement matched well with the settings

The crowd gathering outside the gallery on the lawn

The exhibition for the artworks of Julian Opie will be taking place from 15th May, 2015 to 27th July, 2015.

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