Artists Efforts in Creating Artistic Murals Ruined in Just 7-8 Months
Mangaluru: Between the months of January- March 2017, a team of nearly 25 artists and volunteers under the leadership of Shailesh from Aaditatva Arts-Mangaluru all geared up to give a new look to this compound wall which stretches from Hampankatta Circle till the Clock Tower, nearly 1350 ft long.. The artists gave a extreme-makeover to this wall with painting showing Kambla (Buffalo Race), Culture and Tradition of Kudla, City’s Coastline, Venkataramana Temple Car Festival etc, and also messages to bring awareness on keeping Mangaluru clean. These artists infused the neglected and dilapidated walls with new life. Team Mangalorean had carried two reports on the murals created by these artists (Ref: http://www.mangalorean.com/artists-give-facelift-amazing-murals-wall-wenlock-clock-tower/ and (http://www.mangalorean.com/rkm-swachh-mluru-artists-bring-awareness-among-public-through-murals/)
These artists worked in association with Ramakrishna Math in painting this wall to mark the celebration of the 200th Swachh Mangaluru campaign of the Math which was held on February 12, 2017 held at the Math auditorium. This Swachh Mangaluru Abhiyan started this year on October 2 in which 60 teams are involved, and every Sunday, ten teams took up the drive in ten different locations. Speaking to Team Mangalorean, Artist Shailesh had said, ” Apart from presenting kambla and kooli anka (cock fight), the paintings will present messages related to education and about the objective of Swachh Mangaluru. The paintings on the compound wall of Government Wenlock Hospital will be on health. Prime colours are being used to make the paintings more appealing. This is a voluntary work and we use normal acrylic paints for our masterpieces. The idea behind the art work is to preserve an art form and also create awareness among the people to preserve their surroundings and lead a healthy life. Our team plans to give a makeover to other such neglected areas in the city as well.”
Also speaking to Team Mangalorean, Eekagamyananda, convenor, Swachh Mangaluru campaign had said, ” The Swachh Mangaluru campaign has attracted many youngsters and thereby inspiring them to work for society. We hope this cleaning drive sends a positive image of city that is in news for wrong reasons. Giving a face lift to the walls along the busy roads is the best way to express seriousness of the residents of Mangaluru in keeping the city clean. This is also a way for artists, who are associated with Swachh Mangaluru for several weeks, to display their art. The walls are being painted to send a message of harmony, peace, and progress, which are the essence of our social lives. These artists are giving a new look to the Kottara flyover too”.
In response to Artist Shailesh of Aaditatva Arts-Mangaluru and Swami Eekagamyananda of the Math, I gave a suggestion to them that it would be a better if the walls were protected above with a sheet cover so that water won’t drain down on the walls during the monsoon, thereby resulting in fungus/dirt on these murals. But it looks like Shailesh and Swami didn’t take my suggestion too serious- and look what has happened now, barely 7-8 months after the paintings were done so beautifully. Most of them are seen with fungus and water dirts on them- some of them ruined very badly. All the hard work and efforts put in by these dedicated artists have been ruined by the heavy rain water.
A wall is a wall, whether it is plain, peeling or broken. But it is much more when it is painted with flowers, peoples culture and tradition, Environment awareness, citizens lifestyle, animals and mystical beings. It is called Street Art. And you can see Street Art on the walls of Wenlock Hospital, near Hampankatta circle until the Clock Tower Interacting with the elements of the city is not just about putting art on the walls. Graffiti also has gone way beyond the single dimension of the wall and we can find paintings in other urban elements, turning corners and playing with perspectives creating dramatic effects and original dynamic scenes. This is Street Art. But sadly, the beautiful and artistic paintings have now been ruined due to the mother nature/Rain God!
These artists of Aaditatva Arts-Mangaluru and Mahalas Arts School- Mangaluru, under the leadership of Shailseh Kotian and Vikram Shetty have in the past done painting on few walls around the City. Many citizens have appreciated and complimented the great art-work of these artists on public walls, which aim in bringing awareness on various issues. Among the murals, a non-functional electric transformer on the University Compound wall has been painted to resemble a cupboard filled with books. The faces of two kids are drawn on either side of the cupboard, as if calling to read books. Quite a unique idea of the artists!But now, some ignorant people have left an empty beer bottle at the end of the cupboard (See pic). Also on the centre of this compound wall is the painting of Ravindra Kalabhavan, which is now being renovated. There are also paintings on tribal dance, education, water conservation and Swachh Mangaluru campaign.
There is also a mural spreading the message of Cleanliness and Swachh Mangaluru- unfortunately citizens have not taken this message on the wall very seriously- because you could see bunch of garbage dumped right under this mural (see pic). Some of the murals have been blocked by fallen tree branches, wild grass and street vendors carts/mobile canteens. (see pic) In conclusion, as per my perspective, ” Message on the wall through creative paintings was a well-thought idea. It also brought awareness among the people to keep the city tidy. Everything is about photography and digital images today. This was a different type of art. People, especially children, do not get a chance to see things of beauty, so all this was converted to good ideas. On the other hand the deplorable state of the paintings now is easily noticed by the general public. But sadly some of these paintings are now covered in dust, fungus, streaks of urine and gobs of spit- all within 7-8 months. That’s how the city corporation’s imaginative project to decorate the city has ended up. The city administration along with Ramakrishna Math should have taken care of these paintings before they got ruined within few months, like it had happened to the other earlier paintings on the City walls.
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