Society

The walls of Indian Air Force Station in Avadi get a facelift by city-based artists

A volunteer at work

A volunteer at work   | Photo Credit: special arrangement

The walls of the Indian Air Force Station in Avadi are being painted with graffiti by well-meaning volunteers of city NGO Thuvakkam and Chennai artists

The sprawling campus of the Indian Air Force Station in Avadi is unusually colourful. Last month, a bunch of art student volunteers had arrived at the otherwise inaccessible campus, with paint cans and brushes. Their aim? To relieve the campus of the often-seen shades of grey and green and inculcate appreciation for the visual medium among people there. Over 8,000 square feet of wall area, will see public art, graffiti work with messages on social awareness by both professional artists and student volunteers in collaboration with Nippon Paints and Thuvakkam, a city-based NGO.

Though patriotism, aviation, and social awareness seem to be dominant themes, some of the artists have also worked on metaphors that encapsulate the work the IAF does for the country. The latter has always been a running theme. Thuvakkam has been working with the IAF Station in Avadi since last year when they kicked off a tree-plantation drive within the campus. “IAF wanted to create awareness, especially among the local community, through wall art. This will be done in different phases through March,” says Krishna Kumar of Thuvakkam. Nearly 40 to 50 walls will be taken over by the volunteers who have been sought out through an open call. A few art enthusiasts are already registered volunteers with Thuvakkam. “For this initiative, there are specific art-trained volunteers who will sketch the outlines, which will be later filled in by others,” says Krishnakumar adding that each phase expects to see 50 to 80 volunteers and two phases of this scale will be held over the month.

Nearly 40 to 50 walls within the campus will be painted

Nearly 40 to 50 walls within the campus will be painted   | Photo Credit: special arrangement

Artist Indrani’s is an underwater scene, replete with corals and marine life which dot the canvas with colour in an otherwise blue façade. Says the 60-year-old, “Above the surface of the water, everything is clearly visible and noisy; but underwater, it is a completely different story. It is packed with dangerous action in the dark. I felt this to be similar to the lives of those in the Forces,” says the artist who is also a member of the NGO. She has also made sure the wall is as colourful as possible. “I wanted to use vibrant colours that also soothe viewers.”

Thuvakkam calls for volunteers who wish to participate. They need not necessarily be trained artists. According to Krishna Kumar, the idea is to inculcate a sense of community by such activities. Officers in the station are also likely to join in.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 7:19:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/the-walls-of-indian-air-force-station-in-avadi-get-a-facelift-by-city-based-artists/article31089970.ece

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