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COVID-19: The making of a message

A Villivakkam police puts on a helmet resembling coronavirus. Photo: special arrangement

A Villivakkam police puts on a helmet resembling coronavirus. Photo: special arrangement  

Artist B. Gowtham shares drawing-board notes of the Coronavirus helmet, mace and shield

While stepping out to buy essentials, residents of Chennai are likely to see police personnel wearing what is now popularly referred to as the “Coronavirus helmet”, which made headlines a week ago, having caught the imagination of the media.

B. Gowtham, a 27-year-old artist who created this head-dress, and a mace and a shield, all three works of art patterned on the novel Coronavirus with its club-shaped spikes, dwells on what went into the making of these art pieces, and the social message woven around it.

Gowtham says a helmet is used as the base item for the head-dress, cardboards for the shield; and discarded plywoods for the mace. Newspapers were used to make the spikes of the Coronavirus. These art pieces symbolise a warrior and a battlefield; Coronavirus is a ruthless warrior we that we need to defeat — and the way to beat it is by following social distancing, and the other guidelines such as regular hand-washing.

Gowtham presented this works of art to the V1 Villivakkam Police Station.

Adorning the head-dress and wielding the mace and armour, the police now go to markets, ration shops and key check points in Villivakkam to ensure people maintain social distancing, and also don’t hit the streets unnecessarily, says S. Rajeesh Babu, Inspector of Police, (Law & Order), V1 Villivakkam Police Station. There is an absolute necessity to convey the message to the public in such a dramatic fashion, adds Rajeesh.

It may be noted Gowtham has also been running art-based campaigns against plastics.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 8:40:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/covid-19-the-making-of-a-message/article31277549.ece

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