They came to Kochi as tourists, but are leaving with their artwork etched on the walls of Aspinwall House at Fort Kochi.
Edgar Lopez and Kate Bellm, a couple living in Berlin, arrived in Kochi about a week ago as part of their trip across south India. During a visit to the ongoing Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Lopez, an artist, and Bellm, a photographer, decided they wanted to be a part of the art show too. Soon, they were painting away on a wall of the main venue of the event.
In less than 12 hours, with a little help from volunteers, they completed a fresco about 30 ft wide and 12 ft tall, according to a communication from the organisers.
The painting is a visual representation of their experience as tourists in the country’s peninsular belt.
The main motif in their painting is a country boat, still an important mode of transport in the State’s backwaters. The time span of their journey finds representation through a set of moons waning and waxing in a row above it. Then there are vignettes of the village life they saw all around them – small houses, canals and bridges. A train, which they took to go around South India, too finds space on the painting
A key element in the work is a painting of an eye. “It is symbolic of an insight you gain over a period of journey,” said Edgar, a native of Guadalajara in south-western Mexico.
The ambidextrous artist met London-born Kate less than a year ago in Tulum, a south-east Mexican coastal city that walls a pre-Columbian Mayan site. They then moved to Berlin working on their art. The two had collaborated on a string of new-age aesthetic projects, said the organisers of the Biennale.
The couple was bowled over by Kerala’s greenery and “warm” people. “Well, we don’t ourselves come from some barren land, but the nature here is particularly vibrant,” said Edgar, before the duo cycled away to the backwaters of Alappuzha.