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Murals for the people

SOORAJ RAJMOHAN
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art ‘Just Murals’ aims to change traditional perspectives on mural art and make it accessible to all

Bright orange fades into delicate yellow and rivers of blue flow through the landscape of the canvas to complete Bhavana Radhesh’s highly-detailed mural painting depicting Krishna and Radha. The work is one of the paintings that will be displayed at the Bharat Hotel as part of ‘Just Murals’, an exhibition-cum-sale of mural painted artwork and fabric. “There is a general perception that mural work is prohibitively expensive. We wanted to change that and make it more cost effective,” says Gayathri Narayanan, the designated partner at Brahma Innovations, a creative agency whose art promotion initiative, Hands of Brahma, is organising the event.

Bhavana and Gayathri met by chance when Gayathri chanced upon a pamphlet advertising Bhavana’s art school, Colorscapes. The two started discussing ideas to promote mural painting and decided to conduct an exhibition, with Bhavana and fellow artist Jiby Yoyakkey creating the works to be displayed. “The goal is to make murals accessible to everyone and encourage more people to take interest in murals,” says Jiby, who is a freelance artist.

In order to bring down the cost, the trio have taken small bits and pieces from large mural works and used them as motifs in smaller works. A woman’s earring takes up an expanse of sari material, while the border of another work is housed in a frame of its own. Apart from the traditional Kerala sari, silk and cotton saris, kurti material is available as well. The artists have made an effort to keep the subjects of the works neutral, in a departure from the mythological scenes usually depicted in mural form. “While there are some mythological themes, by using smaller motifs we have been able to avoid particular references in most works, maintaining a secular theme,” says Bhavana.

Those who prefer the traditional are not entirely without choice either, with a three-part series featuring the faces of Rama, Sita and Lakshman also being among the works on display. There is also a selection of pots with various designs to choose from.

According to Gayathri, this is just the beginning for Hands of Brahma. “I am a huge lover of art and aim to promote it as much as I can. Right now I am toying around with the idea of organising a performing arts fest,” she says.

The sale is on at the Bharat Hotel till 10 p.m. tonight .

SOORAJ RAJMOHAN

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