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Walls with Voices: Mural arts add charm to the Ukkadam Housing Unit

Walls with Voices: Mural arts add charm to the Ukkadam Housing Unit

Walls with Voices: Mural arts add charm to the Ukkadam Housing Unit

Four more giant walls of the housing unit of Tamil Nadu Urban Habitat Development Board at Ukkadam now adorn mural arts, which have beautified the colony that was otherwise known for poorly kept surroundings and garbage piles.

A woman purchasing vegetables from a grocery store, a goat climbing up steps, a child playing with a tricycle in his house, a cow sleeping under a staircase and children playing together are some of the mural arts that Trespassers, a group of artists from of Kerala, have done on the walls.

It is part of the Ukkadam ‘art district’ initiative that is being jointly implemented by St+art India Foundation, city corporation and Asian paints.

The recent mural arts were created by Jinil Manikandan, Arjun Gopi, Pranav Prabhakar and Sijoy Paulose from Kerala. It took them 25 days to complete the work. The first four days were, however, spent on visiting the houses, interacting with the residents and getting to know their routine and things they most love in their houses.

Jindal Manikandan, a 26-year-old artist from Chalakudi in Kerala, said they hadn’t had any preconceived ideas. “When we interacted with the people, they said it was fun for them to get confined in the houses during the lockdown, as it gave them more time to interact with neighbours and share light moments. We wanted our work to reflect how they spent their time in their tiny houses.”

One of their artworks features local kid Aishwariya, who stood against her alcoholic father, trying to protect her sibling and mother. The left side wall on block 10 depicts her image.

Apart from Trespassers, artists from various parts of the country are engaged in the project. S Akmal, assistant project manager, St+art India, said five walls were taken up this time and mural paintings on four of them were ready. Trivendra Krishna, a self-taught artist from Nainital, is doing the final wall. He is in the process of depicting Coimbatore as a place for migrants.

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Last year, four walls were taken up under the project. Hereafter we can see Ukkadam as a colourful place.

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