C.D. Dileep hopes to add currency to mural painting

C.D. Dileep’s group of eight students are hard at work. A mural artiste, Dileep is teaching the students of Flora, Vanross Junction, the intricacies of mural inspired paintings.

Based in Guruvayur, Dileep runs Swastik Mural Paintings, a banner that is familiar amongst mural lovers, with his classmate and friend A. Hariharan. They conduct classes in painting in the mural style. They have students in India and in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“Learning to paint in the mural style is a fad now. However, some of the teachers conducting classes are not trained in the field. As a result, we are losing the aesthetics and traditions of the art form; we want to train students in the right method. In fact, Hariharan is in UAE right now, teaching a group of students,” says Dileep.

Alumni of the Guruvayor Devaswom’s Institute of Mural Painting, they started their institution in 2005, right after graduation. “We wanted to add currency to mural paintings and Swastik is a step towards the direction,” says Dileep, who hails from Kannur.

A rank holder from the institute, Dileep hopes to expand the art form and give it visibility but “without letting the traditional art slip away.”

His canvas is any willing material: pillars, asbestos sheets, saris, flutes, pots... And while traditional images, especially those of Radha and Krishna and of Ganapathy are popular, he has added contemporary themes to the list. For instance, the mural-styled painting of a vallamkalli at the office of the State Bank of India, Pattom, was done by Dileep and Hariharan.

“In mural art, team work is essential as you are covering a large area. Hariharan and I have painted the entire Vishnupuranam on a wooden sculpture of an elephant” says Dileep. “When Hariharan and I first started out, we had to go out in search of work; now, work seeks us.”

“We will be conducting an exhibition of our latest works at the upcoming Dubai Shopping Festival.”

What next? “We hope to turn Swastik into a large scale art gallery, where art of all kinds can be displayed.”

Contact Dileep: 9446234615