THE MURAL CITY
India’s first literate city Kottayam, also known as the land of Letters, Lakes and Latex, get another fame- The first Mural City in India.
Murals are a part of Kerala’s art tradition, and the paintings generally based on legends and mythology derived from religious texts. The temples of Ettumanoor, Pandavam and Arpookkara, having celebrated murals, are located nearby Kottayam city. But, a city itself transformed to an art gallery of Mural Paintings is a unique concept – a 1.5 Crore project by the Government of Kerala, monitored by the Kerala Lalithakala Academy.
Besides kumarakom, the famous backwater destination located 11 kilometers west to Kottayam, the Mural City provides a unique position for Kottayam on India’s tourism map.
The Curtain Raiser
Panchavarnam - 5 colours – Red, Green, Yellow, Black and White.
A five days camp from April 19, 2013 was conducted to create an awareness about the art of Mural Paintings.
The objectives of the camp were-
1. 1.Demonstration on traditional methods of preparing a surface for Mural Paintings.
2. 2.The traditional method of making the five primary natural colours that constitutes the base of Mural Paintings.
The colours are made by grinding natural colour stones, squeezing the sap from plants and collecting soot from burning lamps. No synthetic colours are used in Mural Paintings.
THE PAINTING CAMP
The 12 days painting camp organised by the Kerala Lalithakala Academy commenced on May 13, 2013. Around 20 places in Kottayam city were selected for Mural Paintings, which includes Temples , Churches, Public spaces like The Clock Tower of Thirunakkara Maidan, The District Panchayath Office, Public Library, Railway Station, The Civil Station, CMS College, The Press Club, Darshana Cultural Centre and the East Police Station compound.
About 350 artists from around the world participated in this event. Mural artists from Kerala, Rajasthan, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Assam, Punjab, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, were joined by those from Italy, Germany, Mexico, Tibet, Korea, Japan, America, Switzerland and Portugal to demonstrate different styles of Mural Paintings.
They were assisted by students from Institute of Mural Painting - Guruvayoor Devasvam, Kaladi Sreesankaracharya Sanskrit University, Aranmula Vastuvidya Gurukulam, New Mahi Malayalam Kalagramam, Baroda Maharaja Sayaji Rao University Faculty of Fine Arts, Kolkata College of Fine Arts, Chennai Stella Mary’s College, Bhopal Government Hameedia Arts College, Indoor College of Fine Arts and Shantinikethan Vishwabharathi University.
PAINTINGS AND ARTISTS
More than 400 paintings over an area of 13000 square feet were created in this 12 days event.
1. 1. Thirunakkara Maidan – Kerala Style Paintings by Saju Thuruthil and Sreekumar Poochakkal.
2. 2. Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple – Gopurams.
Traditional Kerala style paintings from mythology by Ashokan Cheruvathoor, K.S.Krishnan, Ramesh Kovummal,Girish Malayamma and Suresh Kunnumkal.
3. 3.Thirunakkara Sreekrishna Temple - Ganapathi Kovil.
Traditional Kerala style paintings of Lord Krishna and Ganapathi by K.K.Varier and Vasanth.
4. 4. St.Mary’s Knanaya Church (Kottayam Valiya Pally)
Kerala style paintings bases on Bible by C.V.Pratheesh.
5. 5. CMS College- Paintings by Unni Aamakkavu and Sreejith.
6. 6. Public Library- Kerala style paintings based on Litrature by Azheekkodu.
7. 7. District Hospital - Relief Paintings by K.U.Krishna Kumar.
8. 8. Press Club- Paintings by Sara Gubertti (Italy).
9. 9. District Panchayath Building - Kashi,Pada Style paintings by Suresh.K.Nair, Santosh Kumar Singh, Sathyendranath Boney, Manimala Chitrakar, Prahlad Maharana, Vipin Verma, Prithi Samyuktha, Ankitha Jayan, Meenakshi Madan and Nageshwar Nagaksh.
10.10. Civil Station Building - Butterfly paintings in foreign Mural styles by Jim Chang Hue, Hom Hue Hoe, Jennifer Makkalam, Nele Martens and, Thanjavur,Nayak. Mysore, Madhubani, Pada, Garudadri styles paintings by K.Laxma Gaud, Mahesh, Ramesh Raj, Raveesh, Urmilla Devi Paswan, Vishwaranjan Khar, Jagadeesh Kamble and Jagannath Bellad.
11. 11. Railway Station Building - Kerala, Verli, Jaipur, Gond style paintings by Ajithan Puthumana, Manki Vaidya, Nandulal Verma and Ramsingh Urvedi.
On 25 th May 2013 The Chief Minister of Kerala, Mr.Oommen Chandy declared and dedicated
Kottayam as The Mural City to the nation.