Friday, September 4, 2020

The Community Art Project - Part 1


Life is full of surprises, they say! And when an exciting prospect presents itself in the middle of this pandemic-ridden year, it only gets sweeter. As the lockdown started and all plans came to a grinding standstill, there was a sense of despondency and uncertainty. But who knew that the year would provide us with such a wonderful learning opportunity to pick up a new skill.

Despite the pandemic scare, our local RWA decided to go ahead with a public art project that was to be executed by the community, for the community. The project involved sprucing up an entry wall facing the main gate to our block. But the challenge - it was to be done in mosaic! 

Kanika Singh from Mini Mason Mosaics came on board to be our mentor and guide. A visit to her gorgeous studio, followed by a Zoom consultation and a quick hands-on workshop, and the four teams were raring to try their hands at the new skill of mosaic making.

Snapshots from the hands-on workshop

The public artwork was designed to represent three generations of a family living in our block, along with their pet, and how each of them is enjoying their lives in the community. Each team picked up a particular character silhouette to work on. We brought home the playful kids.

Bringing our mosaic kids to life, little by little

As each team worked from the safety of their own homes due to the pandemic, our community artwork started coming together in bits and pieces. 

Each team with their mosaic at their home

And before long the dazzling pieces were ready to be installed.

Our mentor demonstrating the installation process

Pleasant mornings, with cloudy skies and a gentle breeze, made it seem like a picnic of sorts as all the teams gathered over a weekend to get their mosaic pieces up on the wall.

Prepping the pieces pre-installation

As our piece had a lot of intricate areas (the arms, legs and fingers), it needed many helping hands to get them to stay in place. Reminding me of Jiddu Krishnamurthy's famous words, "It takes a village to raise a child."

It took a village to get the kids up there

When the artwork was finally put up for the public, it was such a gratifying experience to be able to give back to the community, especially in these difficult times. To have been chosen as a medium to spread positivity is indeed fulfilling.

We feel that public art always arouses a sense of wonder, joy and hope in the community at large. Just a glimpse provides nourishment to tired souls, even if briefly. Much needed in these stressful times.

The completed mosaic mural

We feel immensely grateful for the new learning, and the opportunity to connect with some great people. 

Key members of the team

As together we bring a smile on the faces of those who view, enjoy and interact with our art. Hoping to spread joy for years to come! :)

Update: Read Part 2 of this story here.

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