As you wait for your banking process to come to a close, you can fill yourself with colours.
What does one see on entering an ATM? Of course, it's the ATM machine which gets everyone's undivided attention, but that's not the case when one enters the SBI ATM at the main branch in State Bank, Mangalore. One finds beautiful Yakshagana photographs adorning the walls in the cabin, signalling one to stop and have a look, and may be a second look before leaving the room. But what one finds in the ATM is just a trailer. As one enters the branch office which is adjacent to the ATM, there awaits a visual treat for the customers. There are many more paintings, drawings, and photographs seeking one's admiration, few of these are bank's assets but most of them are displayed by up-coming artists.
The former AGM of this branch, C.M. Tallur, says the whole concept of how business is done has changed over the years for good. So why not add a little colour to the interiors of the bank instead of having mere blank walls? But these paintings, drawings, and photographs have a dual purpose, the first one is definitely to add to the ambience of the bank and second but equally important one is to provide a platform for budding artists.
Tallur, who calls himself an amateur artist, came up with this idea around one-and-half years ago. Various artists who otherwise find it difficult to find a platform were invited by the bank to display their creative expressions free of cost.
One of the major contributors to this collection is Mahalasa School of Art, Mangalore, located near the Kudroli temple.
The drawings and paintings done by its students have been regular companions to most of the customer's during their arduous wait in the bank.
There are many who do not like crowded places, but in a place like the bank one might not have much of a choice other than waiting for their turn to come, says Tallur. Hence, to make the experience of waiting a comfortable, if not pleasurable one, the bank has been putting up artefacts mostly based on themes such as Kambla, chariot pulling and Yakshagana.
The Customer is King series reminds one of the Akbar and Birbal stories. The drawing by students of Mahalasa School of Art does not have any particular theme.
N.S. Pattar lecturer from the college says, “We do not want to restrict the creativity of our students by giving them a particular theme.” Lecturer B.P. Mohan Kumar says the current set of drawings displayed in the bank done by the students is done using ink on canvas. The exhibits are replaced once in two to three months with new ones.
Some of the customers who were bewitched by these works even bought them.
Tallur says it is a slow addiction process, at times people take time to notice, but once the paintings strike a chord with them, the goal is achieved.