Chennai’s Kannagi Nagar is set to be transformed into an art district

St+art India has taken over the walls of Kannagi Nagar, etching murals on them, in an attempt to engage with the community through art

Updated - February 23, 2020 01:26 pm IST

Published - February 10, 2020 06:32 pm IST

Kashmira Sarode’s mural

Kashmira Sarode’s mural

Over the course of next few weeks, Kannagi Nagar’s (off Mahabalipuram Road) otherwise grey walls will adorn murals of city-based and international artists alike. St+art, in association with Asian Paints and the Greater Chennai Corporation, is having its first public art project in the city featuring an eclectic mix of 10 national and international artists, to create public art interventions including murals, workshops and tours.


Chennai’s very own A-Kill, who is currently at work, brings his portraiture skills to the project. The young graffiti artist has already left a mark on the city: his body of work depicts everyday nature of life. Another Chennai artist who is confirmed to be part of the project is Karthik, better known by his artistic name SS 108. His visual expression plays with a variety of textures. Since 2012, he has worked on developing a style of art with circles and dot work, often creating compositions that are surreal or abstract.

A-Kill’s piece which is in the making

A-Kill’s piece which is in the making


St+art (@startindia on Instagram) has also revealed names of other artists who will be part of the project: Australia-based Bronte Naylor, Madrid-based Antonyo Marest, Gujarat-based street artist Do, Mumbai-based Sanskar Sawant, Ben Johnston, Kashmira Sarode, Austria-based David Lietner, New Delhi-based Osheen Shiva. Start India’s Ritesh Sharma, who is on the field, says that more artists might join later.

The first leg of the project will feature eight national and five international artists, who will help set up the country’s fifth art district. While artist Kashmira’s mural is almost done, A-Kill and Osheen Shiva are working in parallel in Kannagi Nagar currently. The latest one to join the bandwagon is artist Antonyo Marest, whose mural is located on a façade that is instantly visible when you enter the colony that houses more than 80,000 people. It, he says, is inspired by the colours of India.

A-Kill’s artwork, on the other hand, is adapted from a photograph of two young kids, the artist clicked himself. Osheen’s piece looks at the concept of livelihood through the lens of gender. This vibrant piece-in-making contains elements informed by visuals Osheen observed in women from the fisherfolk communities of Chennai.

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