THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A spellbinding graffiti standing out from the wall of a popular eating joint in the city, is sure to catch your eyes in a jiffy. This is just one of the many creative endeavours of ‘Wax Apple’ - an art band comprising six enthusiastic youths who are bent on making the city look better with their graffiti. This creative crowd is all set to bring an essential change to the Kerala’s art scene with their striking creations.
“If music bands can be popular, why not an art band on the same lines?” asks Pavi Shankar, the leader of the team. And the team says in unison, “We design ‘uppu thottu karppooram vare’ (from salt to camphor),” (a Malayalam saying to denote that they are ready to undertake any kind of creative work that comes their way).
From designing logos and brochures to illustrations, digital paintings, caricatures, graffiti, animation story boards, layout designs, ads and online promotion of short films, documentaries and many others, there is nothing this team has not touched upon in the creative field.
The team has Pavi, an illustrator; Sidharth Jagadeesh, a visual effects (VFX) and animation expert; Pradeesh Raj, an art director; Amala Tessa Johney, a content writer-cum-poet and Shyam Kundarthala, an actor and Adarsh, who does the marketing.
“Though we have assigned a post to each one of us, we help each other out and work as a team. We also co-ordinate with ‘Unplugged Expressions’, a group which brings out ‘Naadan Pattu’ (folk songs),” says Pavi.
Some of them have done courses related to the work they do in ‘Wax Apple’ while others have chased their dream and joined in later.
Pavi Shankar and Pradeesh passed out from the Fine Arts College, Thiruvananthapuram. Amala has done BVMC from Mar Ivanios College, Thiruvananthapuram. Shyam Kundarthala is a degree student at Mar Ivanios, Adarsh is a BTech degree holder and Siddharth has done a number of animation courses. They have been working together for the past four years.
Wax apple proudly remembers the time when they could bring moments of joy to the lives of children at RCC. The team painted two halls of the RCC children’s ward with their favourite cartoon characters.
“We also did works for Helping Hands Organisation (H2O), which works with differently-abled children. We have worked in painting camps arranged by H2O where we helped the children create paintings,” says Pavi Shankar.
The team got an opportunity to create a graffiti during the celebrations to mark the 125th year of Govt Ayurveda College, Thiruvananthapuram.
“Art works don’t get much appreciation in Thiruvananthapuram when compared to Kochi though many say that the capital city is the best place to live in,” says Pavi.
The team feels artists do not get a free place to do work in the capital city. “We are often shooed away by moral police at Kanakakkunnu. People come there for walks, dance practice, yoga etc but when we try to use the space for creating art works, it becomes a problem,” Pavi says.
Their graffiti work would be quite familiar to the regulars of many eateries in the capital city such as Cafe Tapas and Green Pepper. They also do graffiti on bikes.
About their future graffiti works they say they are looking forward to do a work depicting the tradition and culture of Kerala on the walls of the underpass in Palayam. “We are waiting for an approval from the authorities concerned for this.”
Apart from the graffiti, they also does publicity work for documentaries and short films.
“We have done the publicity designs for ‘Beyond’ a short film by Arun A R to be screened at the International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala (IDSFFK),” the team says.
“We also did the publicity designs for Cologne, another short film to be screened at IDSFFK this time,” says Siddharth. They have also designed some cinematic T-shirts for the IDSFFK which they plan to sell at the fest. The team proudly say that they also got a chance to do a poster for the Ladakh International Film Festival.
“We have also done paintings for film director Aashiq Abu’s OPM Dream Mill production house,” says Pavi.
“Often we don’t get fully paid for the work. After the work gets finished, people forget to pay for the job done. Many of us come to this field out of genuine interest, quitting other jobs. But this is also our only means to survive. So it hurts when we are not paid for the work done,” says the youngsters.
“I’ve been working with Wax Apple since two years. I plan to take up a job and assist them side by side since this alone cannot be a source of proper income now,” says Amala.
The design of Kerala University youth fest logo was also done by ‘Wax apple’ this time.“We are also planning to conduct an exhibition of our paintings,” Pavi says cheerfully.
Recently, they did the cover page of ‘Being Moon on 31st Cross road’, a book by Praveen P Gopinath.
“We are now doing a logo for Kerala Water and Education,” gushes the group.
The group is also working on a short film based on the accident in which a school van fell into the Parvathi Puthanar. “Instead of the van, we are making use of a model auto in the short film. We have set up the model of an auto for the same,” Adarsh says.
“Apart from remuneration, we find joy and satisfaction in the work we do.”
Wax Apple can be contacted at 9746354747, 9037526608,9633214047 or their website visited at http://www.waxapple.in.
They also have an FB page: https://www.facebook.com/waxappleofficial.