Make way for mural magic

Some classic traditions find new life through artists like Dhanya S Dharan.
 Mural Art
Mural Art

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : Taking a break from the daily grind is crucial for one’s mental and physical well-being. For some, it can be travel, exploring a new hobby, or indulging in any creative pursuit. However, seamlessly integrating these activities into a busy schedule can be challenging, especially when the new-found hobby is learning mural art.

Studying mural art requires a significant amount of time, which many find difficult to commit to. However, some classic traditions find new life through artists like Dhanya S Dharan. This 32-year-old techie is dedicated to sharing the skill of mural and breaking down its nuances to those with limited time.

It was during the onset of the pandemic that Dhanya discovered a passion for mural art. Now, she conducts short workshops for those looking to make mural as a hobby, where they can learn the ancient techniques in less time. Her workshops offer a unique opportunity for people to explore their artistic potential and connect with their creative self.

“During the pandemic, like the rest of the world, my screen timing was through the roof. To control this, I chose mural art. Unlike acrylic and oil paintings, where each artist’s perspective and technique vary, murals follow a consistent pattern and shading that can be replicated by anyone who learns the craft. Its inclusive nature and standardised approach is what lured me to the artform,” says Dhanya.

After she got acquainted with it, Dhanya aspired to start an art studio. And to kickstart this dream project, she took the initial step of conducting short mural workshops.

“To my surprise, these workshops have gained significant interest, drawing in a diverse crowd, including children. One common barrier to entry into mural art is the perceived need for advanced skills. However, in my workshops, I emphasise the importance of understanding shades and patterns rather than intricate drawing techniques. This approach has boosted participants’ confidence, encouraging them to delve into mural art with enthusiasm,” she adds.

Recognising the need for flexibility, she offers both offline and online classes every weekend. Though the practice of using natural colours like brick powder or leaf extracts exists, Dhanya uses acrylic shades for attendees’ convenience and versatility.

She also finds it fascinating to see people take up creative pursuits.

“I have witnessed some beautiful journeys of a few students who have taken their passion for art a step further, starting their own creative businesses alongside their regular jobs. This dual effort gives them a special kind of joy when they see their artistic endeavours come to life. And that gives me happiness,” adds Dhanya.

Along with workshops, Dhanya makes diverse kinds of products using mural art, including portraits and decorative items such as dresses, pots, and bamboo art. Also, plans are in the pipeline for an exhibition at Kochi David Hall this November.

For more details, visit her Instagram handle,

@Dhanya_dharan.

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