With the wall as canvas

With the wall as canvas

With abstract designs in vibrant colours and film images, the public walls have been giving the City a whole new look.

An initiative of Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, the students from the institution are making a difference with their paint brushes.

The school has a course dedicated to public art called ‘Rabbit Role Radical’. It gives students a platform to exhibit their art to the people and  help in revamping the City. “This course looks at working in public spaces through art and design interventions. It is mainly about finding ways through which a medium can be made accessible to a place and then put our art forms in a public place. The basic principle guiding this project is to create channels through which our art can reach a larger public,” says Amitabh, a faculty and co-ordinator of the course.

The students have made murals, zines, posters and stencils across 20 days. The course involves 20 students. “The lack of a larger eco-system that can engage with and sustain public arts’ practice is missing. With initiatives like the ‘Rabbit Hole Radical’, we seek to create a critical mass that will help create a positive public consensus around such practices,” adds Amitabh, who is currently working on a project under the Richmond Road Flyover.

Sakham Verma is a student who has been painting on the walls since February 2014. “I have painted four wall murals till now, three in Bangalore and one in my hometown, Chandigarh. Public art is the best way you can spread your art across an area. The walls and spaces give you a canvas which are visible to the people and grab their attention.

My genre is basically pop-art as it connects with all kinds of people.” How does one engage in spatial specificity and the fabric of the roads? “I visualise spaces as my canvas, be it walls or even floor. I use a  technique similar to that of painting on a cloth canvas. Texture is a problem but then you can always fix that. So I also modify my space (walls) sometimes for my art to blend in,” adds Saksham.

The murals are designed on an individual’s perspective and personal agenda or just for the purpose of displaying an art work on a public platform.

“The murals are designed depending on the area and what people there would love to see. It majorly depends upon our art style or technique, which we would love to follow while making a design,” says Shreyansh Gupta.

Other than that, they also depend on what would communicate better with that space. “The entire process involves a development from random doodles to a compact technique that is selectively true to only us, as individuals. And of course, our interests, our thoughts, our distinct styles are a major tool to be considered in the ideation process. Our hobbies, our explorations — everything builds onto an end product,” adds Shreyansh Gupta.

Challenges faced when painting on public places for the students is to seek permission. “The first hurdle is acquiring the wall space. Once that is done the only other risk is that we are putting our work on somebody else’s wall. We need to ensure that it is something that is not offensive in anyway, that it is aesthetically pleasing and something the owner of that wall is alright with,” says Nandita Ratan.

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