A team of twenty students led by Shikha Prakash, teacher convener of Luminoso, the Fine Arts Society, have painted tribal art such as Madhubani, Warli, and Gond on ten interior walls of Kamala Nehru College. These beautiful wall have become selfie corners for students.
The initiative had a dual purpose, Prakash says: “Tribal art is not kitsch art, it’s not something that today’s kids relate to. If we don’t introduce them to it now, they will never know about it and eventually these art forms will be lost. So, this initiative brings young students close to the traditional arts as well as beautify the college.”
Not just that, the walls were also painted keeping in mind the flourishing selfie craze. She adds, “We had to keep the walls vibrant, something that the students will like. Generation Y is the selfie generation. Having colourful corners in the college will provide them with a nice background where they can take their pictures. This is a good way to have them bond with the college, too. Years after graduating, when they will see these walls in a picture, they will instantly know that this was taken in their college.”
The month-long process was not an easy one due to the regular spells of showers and mosquitoes. Gauri Chaturvedi, the student convenor, shares, “As we had classes to attend, we worked in shifts. We spent about 6-8 hours daily on these walls. The biggest challenge was working outdoors as it would rain at times. We had to keep a check on the forecast. When it wasn’t raining, there were mosquitoes to be dealt with.”
She adds, “Since the walls are of uneven texture, we had to keep the coats thick, and to do shading, we had to use our hands to blend the colours. There was a lot of pressure on us as we were painting the walls of the college. The basic drawing is made with chalk, and if we messed it up, cleaning it would be very hard. Galti hoti toh sabko dikhta. It meant ruining others’ hard work too which no one wanted to do.”
Despite the hurdles, the students say that they had an amazing time indulging in paint wars and found admirers aplenty, including parents.
Neha Sharma, a BA Geography (Hons) student, says: “We would often randomly start paint wars and ek doosre ko colour kar dete the. And getting these paints off is not easy, let me tell you! Ghanto lag jaate the colour hatane mein but jo mazza aata tha, woh alag hi tha. Also while working on the walls, students and even parents of prospective students would appreciate our work. They would ask us about the walls, our art society and if their daughter can also be a member. We started featuring in Snapchat stories and on social networking profiles of various friends. Kya feeling hai!”