AI3_20_2017_10_10_19_PM_Start_Hyd_Main_Image.jpg
Nirmala

© Pranav Gohil

Kappari at St+Art HYD

© Pranav Gohil

Children of Makhta; in the background Alber

© Akshat Nauriyal

Daan Botlek: Work in Progress

© Akshat Nauriyal

Coo by Sattired

Coo by Sattired

AI3_20_2017_10_10_19_PM_Start_Hyd_Main_Image.jpg
Lab 10 Mar 2017

St+art-ing an art explosion in the city: The Hyderabad Edition

Taking their principle idea of ‘art for everyone’ forward, 2016 saw St+art India venture into new cities, hoping to fill more streets with bright colours and walls with messages. Artists Kappari Krishnan and Nirmala Bilkula engaged with locals and stories from the land for their murals as Hyderabad’s lanes got a renewed contemporary identity.

Images courtesy St+Art India Foundation, Akshat Nauriyal, Pranav Gohil

Whether you’re journeying across Hyderabad’s roads by foot or vehicle, large hoardings and walls pasted with advertisements are unavoidable. Amidst the cacophony of constant messages, it’s difficult to sift through and filter out the ones that are jarring noise. So when St+art ventured into Hyderabad they were really sure that they wanted to focus on specific aspects of the city and respond to them through their murals.

With several walls between Makhta and Necklace Road being the canvas, the team along with the artists spent time walking around, understanding the localities. For St+art India and the artists, it was imperative to bring in the context of the place to simulate the art, just as they hoped the art would become part of the context in heightening the relevance of these messages.

One such local artist from Telangana, Kappari Krishnan created a mural that fuses Hyderabadi culture with his drawing style. Known for the novelty in his representation of images from Telangana, Krishnan made festivals local to the region a starting point for his mural. Women with colourful umbrellas absorbed in a happy jig were the highlight of his mural. With backs facing passersby, dressed in their festive attire, they displayed their long hair decked with little ornaments. Bonalu, a festival to celebrate Goddess Mahankali Bonalu and Bathukamma, a floral celebration typically during the latter part of monsoon, are adorned as a significant part of Telangana’s opulent culture.

Nirmala

© Pranav Gohil

Kappari at St+Art HYD

© Pranav Gohil

While Kappari Krishnan’s mural uses a warm festive palette conglomerating yellow, red, blue, and green, Nirmala Bilkula, another local artist, highlights her powerful mural with pastel pinks and assertive reds. Drawing from realism and Indian popular culture, Nirmala’s visual style manages to distinctly bring forth an array of elements. Chakali Ailamma, a revolutionary leader during the Telangana rebellion stands strong on one side of the mural, while guns and roses are woven into the rest of the wall bringing the idea of duality of the female forward. While softness is often associated with roses, tints of pink and the female, the idea of power and might are linked with guns, often used as imagery for a certain kind of machismo expected from the male. Colligating the two with the striking image of a female fighter reminds the passerby to stop and rethink their marring assumptions.

Walking past both murals incites vastly different feelings and contemplations; however, a common string runs through, weighing the importance of occasionally switching the gaze inwards. Local artists Kappari Krishnan and Nirmala Bilkula use elements and motifs from the land they paint on to transmit messages to the masses, likely to stop and stare because of an instant connection with the visual. Artists Daku and Dia Mehta Bhupal’s collaboration stemmed from the idea of breaking out of the visual pollution of ads, while Nilesh painted the local specialty Irani Chai, known to be a meeting point for chatter across the city.

Children of Makhta; in the background Alber

© Akshat Nauriyal

Daan Botlek: Work in Progress

© Akshat Nauriyal

Coo by Sattired

Coo by Sattired

Entwining narratives from the identity of the state, international artists worked with national and local artists to transform the lanes into colourful storytellers. As a myriad of images flood the streets everyday invigorating attention, a few manage to remain with us while the sun goes down. Drawing on people and public spaces, St+art India’s foray into Hyderabad’s street culture has painted the walls with the first page of messages that invoke a voice, in a city stacked with stories waiting to be told.

For more information on St+art India Festivals visit http://www.st-artindia.org. View detailed pieces on St+art Delhi 2016 & St+art Bangalore 2016 at here.