Mangaluru: After the Swacch Bharath Abhiyaan was introduced by the union government, artists from the coastal city of Mangaluru had come up with a more colourful approach to this movement. A group of city based artists under the banner ‘Isiri Art’ had initiated ‘Bhavya Bharath’ to beautify the city by painting unused walls by the roadside.
Painters of Isiri Art had earlier brought five walls in various parts of the city alive with splash of colours and great meaning to them. Their earlier projects include painting the walls at Lalbagh, Ballalbagh, St. Agnes College circle, Kadri Police station bus stop, Bavutagudda library and a bus stop in the same area.
Among the team of 12 painters from Isiri Art was Harshith Ballal who explained the intricacy of their sixth project to News Karnataka. At the first instance, he said that this painting is not like the older ones as it follows the style of spraypaint graffiti but using emulsion paint.
“We started cleaning up the wall by scrubbing it with wire brush and a water wash on Friday (16 December) and started sketching outlines the following day. We applied a coat of primer on Saturday after the sketch was made and then started painting on Sunday morning. We are nearing completion now”, Harshith said when speaking to News Karnataka late on Sunday afternoon.
Speaking about the planning phase of this graffiti project on a prime location, Harshith said, “About a week ago, we had taken a picture of the plain wall and used it to scale our painting digitally and then superimposed it on the picture to help us in sketching the outline and paint it within a day’s time.”
“In order to commence work on the wall which belongs to a Government building, Isiri team had approached the Mayor of Mangaluru City Corporation for permission and the Mayor issued the consent immediately”, Harshith added. The location of this painting is at the curve opposite Pabba’s ice cream parlour and Isiri team wanted to create social awareness on cleanliness while bringing a good outlook of the city to tourists.
Isiri Art team had posted about this project on facebook before it began the work so as to receive volunteers from social media to help the team out with painting the wall. All of the artists from Isiri have a day job and they have to go several extra miles to complete the painting on time. “We appealed to volunteers in helping us with the painting because it will ease our effort, save time and make volunteers feel good at the same time. The volunteers need not have any knowledge in painting to help us, as it is general strokes of their brush which we need”, Harshith said while proudly mentioning that they had 25 volunteers for this project over three days.
When asked about the cost and funding for this project, Harshith said that the artists are driven by passion to paint and they do not expect money reward in return. He further went on to say, “The total cost of this painting came up to about Rs. 8000 for the brushes, primer and paint. The team pooled in cash for all the equipment and paint that was required.”
There were of course several passerbys who stopped and admired the painting of an amalgamation of a peacock and a fish on which ‘Beautiful Mangaluru’ was painted in graffiti style. Isiri Art team were not tired from painting the whole project and happily made pencil portrait sketches of curious passerbys as a token of their gratitude. The team also plans on having a sketcher while they are painting their next project.