Chennai is full of walls. Many of them are marked “stick no bills” – and people will generally abide by that request. But the majority end up being political advertising space.
The successive layers of paint upon paint, posters upon posters are accepted as a part of the texture of the city, and are rarely examined in close detail – though one of my predecessors here has photographed walls like the one below and turned it into a profitable art exhibition. Without all the stuff I’ve included in the photo for context.
But on a major street in Chennai, the Stella Maris College Department of Fine Arts has turned a 250-meter stretch of wall surrounding their compound into a giant artists’ canvas. I spent a morning photographing them, and thought others might enjoy browsing some of the individual pieces. The project is called, “The Trees and the Skies”, and is accompanied by the following description:
The concept is a metaphor to signify art that represents the rootedness of the trees and the open imagination of the skies. The paintings envisage a change which can unite all people as we reassess the use of nature and our environment
The gentleman sleeping on the sidewalk is not part of the exhibition – but is included for context!
It’s hard to see how much detail is in some of these pieces. Check out this close-up from the painting above:
The previous painting is gloomy, but I like the caricature of the trucks we see all over town. Here’s a close-up:
Here are more examples and more close-up detail shots. These are a pleasure to drive past every morning. I imagine what if all the walls were painted with art instead of political ads…
Some jerk left his bike here. Oh wait, that’s MY bike…