Meat and greet

This city-based artist is celebrating the meat vendors of Murphy Town through art.

Published: 16th May 2022 02:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2022 02:37 AM   |  A+A-

Maya Janine D’costa

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Four months ago, Maya Janine D’costa was introduced to Murphy Town Meat Market in Ulsoor by a friend and was immediately taken in by their skills. The meat market comprises vendors who have been doing this generationally. The Mamsa Santhe, a collaborative project with the India Foundation of the Arts under Project 560 with the support from Sony Pictures Entertainment Fund, saw many come from near and far parts of the city to experience the art works done by D’costa and put up at each of the stalls. 

“My friend who introduced me to the market preferred to buy meat from the vendors rather than from stores. They are cheaper and you get to choose the cuts. So, when I came here and heard their stories, I realised how much they have gone through and continue to go through with the many changes modernisation has brought about,” says D’costa, the project coordinator, who has been given a grant of Rs 25,000 for the project. 

As part of phase 1, the artist wanted people to celebrate the neighbourhood market that is kept alive by the people. “The market has survived a fire set by a mob, overnight demolition of a stone library that stood at its centre, the building of mini-malls and parking lots among other attempts towards privatisation in the name of development,” she explains.

During these four months, D’costa built relationships with the vendors, took out her painting equipment and drew what she found interesting. “They thought that I was painting them to make money out of it. But I just gifted it to them so they can have a memory of it. Those who visited the santhe would have seen the works hanging at their respective shops,” she adds.

The santhe also saw vendors from within the area enter the market space to sell cooked food. D’costa says, “During these communal times, a santhe like this feels like a celebration. There are many vendors who want their children to study and move out of this business. It’s challenging but they are also working as hard as they can and trying to secure the future for their children.”

Though it’s part of the artist’s ongoing project, she hopes to revive this and more such markets and share their stories through art. “I am in talks with a few others who can help with the monetary aspects of running a santhe like this,” she says hopefully.


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