In Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, a group of street art practitioners currently painting a mural in a housing colony in Ukkadam also conducted an art workshop for the local children.
“The housing units in Ukkadam area of Coimbatore are meant for rehabilitating poor families. We have been working here for a fortnight painting murals on the outside walls,” says Jinil Manikandan, a final-year MFA (Art History) student at Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan in West Bengal.
“We also conducted a painting class for children. About 50 children attended the training,” he says.Manikandan and his fellow street art practitioners ensure that the murals they paint on the walls link art with the society struggling to come out of a debilitating pandemic.
The initial phase of the public artwork is dedicated to seeking suggestions from residents. The murals contain symbols and objects that signify the life and surroundings of the people. “When you can’t go out and see the world, the world comes to you,” he says, referring to the visuals represented in the many murals in Ukkadam.
Public art becomes part of the visual memory of the people. For many who have been confined to their homes, public art becomes an important aid to connect with society.
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