‘The walls of Delhi are our canvas and we’ll bring them to life.’ With this very thought, a group of six young enthusiasts got together early one Sunday morning, armed with buckets of paint and brushes. After 13 long hours of sketching and painting, the 18-metre-long wall now stood covered with a beautiful garden; with birds in their cages, pandas reclining on the grass and leaves falling off a tree.
And that’s how the Delhi wall project began. Their mission is pretty simple: to add colour and life to the otherwise boring walls of Delhi. Most of the time they are plastered with tacky film posters, political banners, local advertisements and many times stained with paan(betel leaves) or even pee. Their inspiration however comes from the Mumbai wall project, that began two years ago.
“Looking at the Facebook pictures of the Mumbai wall project, I was amazed to see what wonders colours can do to a surrounding. But I was also surprised that no one had replicated it in Delhi,” says Kanika Seth, a Delhi-based graphic designer who spearheads the Delhi Wall Project.
Kanika and her friends decided: “Something has to be done to the Delhi walls too.” They got in touch with the Mumbai wall project team to take things forward. And three Sundays later they painted their first public wall of a restaurant in the city’s Hauz Khas village. Just like the restaurant famous for its seafood, its wall are now a visual treat with sea creatures painted in bright shades of orange, green and blue.
This time many more hands joined in the fun; some painted a tiny starfish, others coloured in the legs of the octopus orange. And those new to art took it easy by just shading the sea blue.
“There were eight-year-old kids to 50-plus oldies coming along to give us a hand. Initially they were all a little apprehensive to pick up the brush and scared that they might spoil the artwork. But we team members made them comfortable and helped them paint and understand how easy it is to express ourselves through colours,” explains Kanika.
And while they all worked away under the scorching sun, help also came to them in other forms.
“A family saw us painting in so much heat and sweat that they got fans for us. They made sure we had enough water and food as well.”
With two splendid walls to showcase, the DWP team is now being invited to paint different localities in Delhi. The online response too has been stupendous. Their Facebook page already has 800-plus fans following them. There are comments appreciating the good work and also eager amateur painters inquiring how they can participate in the next wall paint session.
And to all of them Kanika says
“Come and join us with your paints and brushes. Let’s all together beautify the city as much as we can.”