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Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

Consciously Painting the City: Muralist’s Indian Tour Raises Mental Health Awareness | Trend news

By Vaseline May31,2024
Consciously Painting the City: Muralist’s Indian Tour Raises Mental Health Awareness |  Trend news

India has a rich tradition of mural painting, an ancient art form linked to historic cave art that highlights the evolution of Indian artistry. Although some murals are well known, there are still many hidden treasures scattered across the country, awaiting discovery. The term ‘mural’ comes from the Latin word ‘murus’, meaning wall, and refers to works of art painted directly onto large, permanent surfaces. These creations transform blank walls into powerful canvases for storytelling and social commentary.

In an interview with indianexpress.com, Sneha Chakraborty shared insights into her mural art tour of India, an initiative by the Mind & Matter Charitable Trust to spark conversations around mental wellness. Her spectacular work combines striking images and profound messages, demonstrating how art can revitalize public spaces and engage the community.

Chakraborty, who spent her early years in Gujarat, revealed that she had a passion for drawing and painting since childhood. As a child, she practiced mehendi art by helping a local artist, learning the trade and earning her first wage. “I have always been an artist. Everyone has an artist within them, but I stuck to my creative side because I enjoyed it. I loved dancing to Madhuri Dixit’s songs, watching films and much more,” she said.

mural Sneha with her very first mural.

“Art is in me, art is everywhere”

“I always enjoyed sketching and later developed a passion for painting. Creativity has been a constant in my life, fueled by my experiences of moving frequently due to my father’s job as a mining engineer. Embracing the culture, food, language and way of life in each new home – we’ve moved eight times – has profoundly influenced my art.

Nature is her favorite canvas, with regular movements every two to four years bringing new landscapes and inspiration to her art. “During class 12, I was in Assam with hills, then Jammu and Kashmir covered in snow. Nature played a huge role in my life and inspired characters steeped in nature from different states,” she said.

She remembers a visit Rann from Kutch, surrounded by sand, camels and cacti, as an early source of inspiration. Frequent moves exposed her to changing dialects and diverse people, creating easy connections and deepening her fascination with human behavior, which influences her art.

Festive offer
mural The Travel and Paint: India Tour is a collaboration with Mind & Matter Charitable Trust to raise awareness about mental health.

As an artist, she strives to make a difference, drawing inspiration from the people and words she encounters. When asked about her guiding quotes, her heartwarming response reflected her passion for this collaboration and her daily art.

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“Honestly, it changes every day. I wake up with a new look and new energy guiding me. They are the guiding people for me – my family; my father, my mother and my brother. I call them ‘a car with four wheels’ because we keep each other balanced. They are my backbone, my guiding souls,” she reflects.

mural Deepika Appaiah is the founder of Mind & Matter Charitable Trust. The organization runs ‘Paint a Wall’ campaigns in collaboration with multiple artists and celebrities.

Murals for the mind

Chakraborty loves her country’s art, culture and heritage, and she sees her nationwide arts tour as a way to give back. In collaboration with the Mind & Matter Charitable Trust, which promotes mental health and wellbeing, especially for underprivileged children, Sneha highlights the link between art and mental wellbeing.

“Art, beauty and culture are closely linked to mental well-being. Through Sneha Chakraborty’s art, the organization has highlighted this connection in Madikeri, Coorg,” says Deepika Appaiah, the founder of the NGO.

“My first stop was Coorg, where the mural is a tribute to NGOs like Mind & Matter. Deepika’s dedication to raising awareness inspired me to share these stories through my social media platforms,” said Chakraborty.

Mind & Matter has been running mental health awareness campaigns since December 2021, organizing the ‘Paint a Wall’ campaign to promote mental health and holding sessions with artists and celebrities. In August 2022, they gave workshops at 16 schools and colleges Kodaguand in November 2024, they conducted similar workshops in 10 schools and colleges in Mysore and Kodagu, in collaboration with the Department of Psychiatric Social Work, NIMHANS, Bengaluru.

mural

When Sneha set out with her colors and brushes, this turned out to be her largest canvas.

Footprints of hope

The ‘Travel and Paint: India Tour’ is a collaboration with NGOs and local businesses, aimed at creating art for the community, their streets and themselves,” says Chakraborty. “I feel like I was born to interact with people. I’m not introverted at all; I love connecting with people,” she says.

While painting under the sun, amid the busy streets, Sneha often feels exhausted. Yet a passerby’s curious look at her mural rekindles her determination. These exciting moments of shared creativity and connection are her greatest source of inspiration.

“The buzz of the street and the interactions with passers-by give me energy,” said Sneha. “But what really brightens my day are the kids. Seeing their hopeful faces reminds me that there are paths beyond the usual career choices. I hope to be a symbol for them and show that you can make a difference and raise awareness through art. We always have choices, and it is important to embrace them when the time is right.”

Curiosity limitless, assumptions none

We asked Chakraborty for her insights from her tour in India. She said: ‘A big lesson I’ve learned is not to judge places based on hearsay. For example, painting twelve walls in Haryana was incredible. The people were friendly and hospitable, especially in Narnol. There I met a woman who owned a small business and employed other women, helping them become financially independent. If I hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t have known about this.”

She added: “When you visit somewhere without preconceived ideas, you become a canvas for stories. It’s intriguing.”

Art has immeasurable power. It has the power to shape societies, challenge norms and provoke thought. Every stroke of the brush, every line of verse asks us to think about the whys and whys not of existence. For Sneha, art is more than just paint on a canvas or words on a page; it is the essence of forward momentum. It not only includes the traditional forms of expression such as painting and drawing, but also poetry and the intricate workings of the mind as it navigates the daily rhythms of life.

She does not adhere to a specific artistic style. She thinks outside the box and ensures that every work of art is unique. If one piece is colorful, the next may be darker and monochrome.

A kaleidoscope of creativity

Unbound by artistic conventions, Chakraborty’s creative journey is shaped by her rich experiences. Every interaction and sight influences her work and reflects her essence and environment. Her goal is limitless expression and refuses to be limited to a single style. Although some claim to discover a unique style in her various creations, she is not so quick to embrace this idea.

Her inspiration arises from the complicated dance between humans and nature. Sometimes her posture conveys a sense of purpose pseudo-positivity, where stories gain depth and the mundane is avoided. Her art reflects not only the world around her, but also the introspective depths she explores.

mural

Traveling from bustling cities to quaint towns, and from charming villages to tiny hamlets, she works with NGOs and local businesses to weave a rich mosaic of stories through the streets of India.

The fun side

Chakraborty shared a fun idea: “What if Da Vinci and Picasso were alive today and had access to all these technologies? They would be using this technology left and right to explore because the world is more accepting now. They used social media to stand up for themselves and encourage others to do the same.”

She further said: “They would undoubtedly embrace the technology. Technology is the most important element these days, and they would have a lot of fun utilizing it to the fullest. They would be excellent at it.”

Whatever is required of her, however she has to present herself to the world, she is ready for it. Armed with her colors, paints, brushes and a wealth of creative ideas, she embraces every role with the vibrant spirit of an artist.

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