BENGALURU: Artists, led by Yash Bhandari of Geechugalus (scribbles), are busy painting the walls of the underpass in front of Shree Dhanvantri Ayurveda Hospital. These walls had carried murals by older artists, and they had begun to fade away. When the city corporation planned to whitewash them away and paint blue stripes over them, the artists stepped in.
“Whitewashing is a very violent way of erasing earlier art work,” says Yash. “The murals were spectacular when they were painted... our technique is of erasure, where each artist selectively erases bits from the older work.” After taking away bits, the present artists add their ideas into it.
According to the arrangement with Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Pallike, the artists work with material provided by the corporation. They started in December.
Alkha Rao worked on an earlier image of Halebidu. “A certain portion of it was remaining, so I interpreted it as a jigsaw piece,” she says. “You can see the monument on one piece of the puzzle and on other pieces I drew spectators watching the temple.” This image creates many layers of looking into the past – that is, the present passers by are looking at the spectators (in the puzzle) looking at an older monument.
Alkha’s also did a series ‘Roots’ at the flyover. “Trees are being cut in the city for urban infrastructure and I wanted to show that Nature will find its way back,” she says. She stood back from the flyover and, wherever she could see trees in the distance, drew roots that aligned with them on the flyover. The effect is off the trees rooting into the concrete city.