Museum of Art & Photography [MAP], Bangalore, is an upcoming conservation centre for the archival and preservation of photographs and other forms of the art material. The museum’s mission to undertake the conservation of the rich cultural heritage of the country can be of historical relevance to the current generation and posterity.
The museum’s flagship building was expected to welcome the public sometime this year. Unfortunately, the nationwide lockdown to curb the rise of the pandemic brought the construction of the centre to a halt, making Bangaloreans wait longer for the MAP.
However, this is when the Aravani Art project stepped in. Helmed by a women-driven collective, this project was launched to transform the museum’s under-construction facade into a piece of art. The artwork titled ‘Story of Bangalore’ or ‘Bengaluru Kathegalu’ was brought to fruition in ten days.
The artwork indeed gives a piece of Bangalore to its viewers. It is a depiction of the Garden City through its lush landscape and its myriad people who are indeed the heartbeat of this bustling city.
Aware of the city demographic, the team wanted to have an inclusive portrayal. Therefore, besides creating trees and landmark architectural marvels, they have included human subjects like a child on a wheelchair, and also COVID frontline workers amongst others. An interesting facet of this mural is that the artists chose to keep the people faceless — their idea behind this being that these people here could always be you!
Kamini Sawhney, director of the MAP says, “We are a museum that is located in Bengaluru, and it is so important to connect with the community. We have been doing this over the last two years with education programmes, talks, and so on. Once COVID-19 happened, things came to a standstill but we decided that this artwork was a good way to tell Bengaluru that we are here. I also think that the two important pillars of the MAP are inclusion and accessibility and this project conveys that message” in an interview with The Hindu.
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