A thing of beauty: Wall art 1

Written for Arrow by CrossBow
Founder of Aravani Art Project | Muralist | Artist | Wanderer | Photographer
Part of the process of wall painting is hunting for it and the experience with this first wall was really adventurous with Isha from the CrossBow.
We came upon a wall that was in the premises of a big ground that was part of public gatherings and a play ground for the young people. It also served as an important walk way from the main road.
The concept was developed after interacting with Deepak and Srishti soon after their first workshop, after listening to the stories it almost felt that everyone have taken women and their issues for granted.
The visual was inspired by a picture that Sabit took during the workshop. It was a girl who had her eyes closed and seemed like she was thinking deep.
Her eyes seemed closed, but not ignorant. Closed to show a sense of resistance and re-affirmation that women have the power within themselves.
The beauty of painting in public spaces is the reaction, appreciation and sometimes participation that it brings. The quick analysis that i could derive from the interactions with the student crowd that were passing by every 10 mins, was of course curiosity. Some of the girls were very forthcoming to offer a helping hand and ask questions whether related to the painting or not.
The boys were particularly alarmed by the fact : ‘why only women rights?, what about men?’
It would leave me speechless at times.
The artwork resonates with the fact that women are subjected to certain expectations that are pushed upon us by the society in general.
It is heartbreaking to know that we need to remind ourselves and the rest of the world that “Women also have rights”.
Often my observations after painting in places that have lesser exposure to ‘urbanisation’ is that there is very little understanding of what rights mean, equality means and both are taken for granted. This is not a generalised opinion; there are some beautiful stories of bravery and free sprit that I often get to listen to.
 The wall is a sign of a resilience, a silent voice, a voice that will remind every single person who reads “Pengalukkum Urimai Undu” (Women also have rights).


Painted by : Team Crossbow, those lovely high school girls who helped me paint a flower and Ramesh from Kanyakumari who did the Tamil typo.




CrossBow ART Project

Poornima Sukumar is a muralist, community artist, illustrator and documentary photographer who uses public spaces to engage youth in peacemaking and to create awareness.

CrossBow is partnering with Poornima to leave behind a beautiful message for the cities and towns it is going through.

With the help of local volunteers, Poornima will be painting walls in 30 major and minor towns and cities along the path of Project Crossbow. Each of these individual walls will have a motif and all 30 of them will come together as a whole piece of artwork. This artwork aims to combine elements of technology, life, strife and culture to represent an empowered Indian Woman moving towards the future. This artwork is an attempt to bring together the various parts of India, one step at a time, to create symphony and beauty.

Read more here.


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