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This 300ft mural in Coimbatore celebrates women and community spirit

INDThis 300ft mural in Coimbatore celebrates women and community spirit

The mural in Saibaba Colony, Coimbatore
| Photo Credit: M Periasamy

The lively graffiti, featuring flowing sarees, majestic elephants, and the city’s historical journey, infuses joy into public areas. The 300ft mural adorning the Tamil Nadu Institute of Urban Studies compound wall at Alagesan Road in Saibaba Colony symbolises feminine strength, with a woman’s saree spanning the entire wall and connecting 24 images. This is a project initiated by the Bharathi Park Ladies Association (BPLA) with the support of Nippon Paints, in collaboration with the Institute of Indian Interior Designers-Coimbatore Chapter (IIID) and the Department of Architecture and Design at Karpagam University.

“The graffiti stands as a heartfelt dedication to the women residing in the area, whose tireless efforts contribute to maintaining its greenery and cleanliness,” explains Shiwani, a third-year architecture student who led a group of 20 fellow department volunteers. After working six days under the scorching sun, I am happy to see the city buzzing with art. It’s our first time seeing our paper drawings turn into something beautiful for everyone to enjoy,” says Shiwani, smiling.

The mural paints a journey through time and space. It begins with a regal scene in a palace courtyard, where a woman draped in a saree, each yard laden with history, sits gracefully. From there, the saree unfurls across picturesque landscapes — rivers, flower fields, and humble villages and temples — where blessings are bestowed by majestic elephants. Transitioning seamlessly, the mural captures the pulse of modern life, from the excitement of a cricket stadium to the bustling streets alive with the hum of cars, flights, and trains. Yet, amidst the urban sprawl, it poignantly reminds us of the price of progress as factories belch thick smoke into the sky, a stark contrast to the natural beauty that preceded.

Nitu Rahul Parasher, President of BPLA, said such spaces enhance the dynamism of the urban environment. “We’ve noticed a community spirit, especially in Saibaba Colony. Residents and children walking past the mural are keen to grasp its significance and often join to add their touch to the artwork. It’s not just an artist’s interpretation; it’s a community-driven initiative.”

A section of the mural in Saibaba Colony, Coimbatore

A section of the mural in Saibaba Colony, Coimbatore
| Photo Credit:
M Periasamy

Located opposite the children’s park, the mural beckons visitors, especially children, who are drawn to its colours, she says. “The mural’s location is adjacent to a children’s park, which used to have a lot of trash thrown around. Now, it’s a chance to teach people about keeping things clean and looking after the community.”

“Every design is anchored by the theme of ‘yards’,” explains Kshrinee Aashish Raichuraa, Chairperson of IIID Coimbatore Centre. “In celebration of IIID’s golden jubilee, we introduced seven volumes of our Inscape design magazine. The first folio was unveiled in Chennai, and now the second instalment, ‘The Yards We Scale,’ is unveiled in Coimbatore.”

“We aimed to nurture budding artists among the students and give them the chance to shine in a public project. With this creation, the involved students are now receiving requests for more projects across the city,” says Kshrinee.

With street art and graffiti transforming mundane walls into vibrant canvases, the urban landscape has seen the emergence of potent catalysts for change.

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