“Lend me your ear”

Arts & Culture Bangalore City

 Art  sculpture, a medium to de-stress

By Saloni Arora

Bengaluru, April 10, 2019

An artwork “Lend me your ear”, displayed on the exit wall at the Cubbon park metro station, helps people release their stress and anger after their daily tasks. Part of a larger project called  “Transit Conversations” it is made by a city-based husband and wife artists, Neha Utmani and PL Jose.

“Every day approximately 60-70 people come up to the ear sculpture to share their feelings. We are slowly losing touch with ourselves and art is a very powerful medium that can help us connect with our inner selves,” says Neha Utmani.

“I get off every day at Cubbon Park metro station for work and before heading to the office, I stop by the art piece and speak my heart out to one of the ears. This not only makes me happy but also makes me believe there is someone who listens,” said Ishani, a resident of Jayanagar.

Around 62 percent of India’s population is suffering from stress and 75 percent people do not feel comfortable enough to talk about their stress with a medical professional, according to a study done by Cigna Health Insurance.

Neha Utmani said, “Being an artist I observed many children and people looking for non-judgemental sources to share their feelings. People need someone to tell them that everyone makes mistakes, and it is okay. This was one of the major reasons for me and my husband PL Jose to come up with an idea where people can share their feelings to the ear of their choice, and no one will make any judgements”.

Deepak, a resident of J.P. Nagar stated that art pieces like this one really helps a person come out of their anger. It is a great initiative by the artists, as the people travelling through the metro can come down to the sculpture and share their feelings.

Palak Arora, a psychologist said, “Here, the larger focus must be on the need that people feel for companions to hear them out. That’s why many people choose to talk to strangers rather than people they know, simply because they are seeking a deaf ear with no advice/opinion. This is extremely empowering as it enables the individual to understand their line of thought, their past actions, and their perceptions about reality. In short, it develops a deeper self-understanding. Here the art acts as that deaf ear”.