Art Collecting

Thanks to this young artist – The New Indian Express – the walls of Perambaur gleam with splendor | Pro Club Bd

Express Message Service

PERAMBALUR: Office visitors and students rushed to the Perambalur New Bus Stand, chatting down the tattered street. Suddenly they fell silent, their chatter dying. The next moment they ran for cover and held their breath. The stench from the piss-stained walls was unbearable. Most feared they would faint.

The bus station lacked basic facilities, a reason for many to treat the walls as an unofficial open loo. S Ajith, a regular visitor to the bus stop where his father ran a flower shop, refused to run away from this man-made threat. The 23-year-old youngster from MM Nagar in Perambalur has achieved something others could never have imagined.

“I used to do freelance work after completing my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Kumbakonam Government College of Fine Arts. My father runs a flower shop at the bus station and I go there often. The stench from the walls was unbearable and no one wanted to do anything about it. So I decided to do my part and decorate the walls,” he tells TNIE.

When Ajith approached the city officials, they were only happy to allow him to paint the walls. After carefully cleaning up the area, Ajith decided to bring some traditional vignettes to life. With some help from the citizenry and money from his own pocket, he wetted his brushes with many colors.

For three weeks, Ajith painted the once-stinky walls with majestic images engraved with the history of Tamil Nadu. Vivid images of some majestic temples, Bharatanatyam artists, cockfights, Boom Boom Maadu and women carrying water vessels home now adorn the walls. Anyone who goes in there to urinate comes back feeling guilty.

The artist has received widespread praise for his work and wants his art to inspire authorities to involve more artists in the maintenance work of public spaces. He is ready to tackle similar projects elsewhere.

“The district collector has yet to inspect the paintings. I hope he will allow me to paint other public walls after seeing my work. The community should also make an effort to keep these places clean. The walls of the new Perambalur bus stand now look clean and attractive,” he explains.

But that doesn’t mean it will stay that way forever. The artist had warned that maintenance and restoration work should be carried out at regular intervals.

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