Thursday, October 28, 2010

Paint Conspiracy: the Wall Project

By Sadho Ram (with Swapnil Shahane [Photographer])

Hmm.., so how do you begin writing about something which starts with unpolished, unkempt and equally ugly looking walls and ends after 3 ½ of unseasoned but planned out festival of Holi in which people, who actually happen to be fervent artists from all around the globe, transform those same walls, the unpolished, unkempt and equally ugly looking, into an artistic magnificence? And then exactly how do you describe the spirit of awesomeness which seems to have entered into each one of the breathing soul present there, in this case – from one end to another of Chapel Road, Bandra West?
I have no damn clue. You see, my ability to describe events literally fail here, and I’m not at all amazed.

So, I’ll begin (if it can be called a beginning at all) with a very, very small story.

Once upon a time there was a wall, devoid of colours and thus void of any feelings. And in that same time, there was a group of young individuals with spirit as vibrant as rainbow itself, the only difference was that they did not needed rain to show their vibrancy.

The wall, to be very precise was in an Old East Indian Village – Bazaar Road in Bandra. And there’s a legend around that it is overflowing with artists of numerous talents but all hidden inside their tiny, little abodes and the legend is as true as the existence of Bazaar Road in Bandra.

So that vibrant group of young individual used to daily pass by that plain, boring wall, and each time they passed, their heart burned with a volcanic intensity which erupted at its decibel highest, proclaiming among them that – “Something has to be done to it.”

So one fine day, they sought out the owner of that wall, Mr. Glenford D’Mello, who turned out be an extremely kind hearted men and allowed them to ‘paint’ it. But what Mr. D’Mello didn’t know that it was not that normal, same old – paint the wall thing.
The Gonsalves wall, as it was known, became the foundation of what that vibrant group of young individuals today call – the Wall Project. In their own words – “It was an initiative to add visual elements of colour, form and texture to a space, to make the area more alive and generate a feeling among people who pass by it daily.”
So, that was the story of how the Wall Project got formed. And since then, since doing “something to the Gonsalves wall” they have been consistently conspiring “paint the wall” all around the city (Bombay). This week (Sunday 24th) it was the walls of Chapel Road, Bandra. The day was Sunday and the time “a really cool, colourful evening.”

The atmosphere was calm (even though cars honked horns as if it’s tyres can feel the road, and as if the road was made up of thorns), and people calmer (though few were confused as to why on earth are these firangi accent Indians and pani-puri eating Firangis painting the walls?)
But one thing that surprised me was the number of photographers present there. If my guess is right (which I know it is) then there were 2 photographers on every painter. This means more than the brushes there were clicks (and chicks [Beautiful, Warm, and Friendly Chicks]) which rolled on to the unpolished and unkempt looking walls of Chapel Road, Bandra.
Ok, enough of my rant. I’ll leave you with few of the true-colour pictures of the event clicked by my Photographer friend, Swapnil Shahane.
A few words on Swapnil: He is an awesome landscape photographer, probably one of the finest I’ve personally known/seen till date.

Due to some technical glitch, I'm not being able to upload more pictures of the event, So please refer to his Facebook page for more pictures of the Wall Project - Here

Sorry for the inconvenience. I hope you enjoy the visual treat.

Thank you.