Life-size murals change perception of Chennai’s resettlement colony

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Chennai: The art has completely transformed the residence of the 2004 tsunami survivors, who live here in Kannagi Nagar, a resettlement colony. The walls feature elements of public designs, people’s faces and expressions, abstract art, and especially marine life.

The Delhi-based NGO took it up as its project and last year painted the walls of the resettlement colony with life-size murals. The new colors and designs have given a complete look to the streets which now attracts every passerby’s pair of eyes.

Not only have the colors changed the look of these walls but also contributed in changing the perception about the area.

Kannagi Nagar, on the outskirts of Tamil Nadu’s capital, directs the day-to-day lives of tsunami survivors and settlers.

The St+art India Foundation worked on the project in collaboration with the district authorities, which included people from the community living here.

“We are part of an NGO based in Delhi. We work in promotion of art in public places. Art is restricted to private galleries only and only elite people can buy it. We work in these conference gallery spaces Trying to get art from and give it back to the masses,” said Ahmed, Assistant Project Manager, St + Art India Foundation.

Ahmed said, “It was earlier known for its negative image. Now when we search Kannagi Nagar online, it is about art and all the positive things that happen here. Art is making a difference.”

Emphasizing that the objective of this project is not just to paint the face, he said, “It is not just about giving a makeover to the building, but we also involve the people of the community here, giving them skills -based workshops so that they can also get exposure to the arts.”

A Mumbai-based artist who was involved in the project reiterated that art should find a place in public areas as well.

“It took us 15 days to paint. We have to start with sketching and then spend a lot of time on painting. Art should not stay within four walls. It should reach the common people. It is needed,” says Mahesh Kamble

(with inputs from ANI)

First published:March 13, 2022, 7:31 pm

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