Odisha: Murals at Rajmahal of Bhubaneswar to depict changing urban dynamics

Bhubaneswar: The murals, currently transforming Rajmahal Square to an upcoming art destination in the heart of the city, will represent the changing urban character of the city and how the different city elements are evolving in a coordinated fashion with the urban dynamics of the Smart City, which was a sleepy state capital in the recent past.
The images depicting the fruit merchants, fruit retailers, other business points in Unit I Daily Market and the nearby area like Ashok Nagar, Buddha Nagar and Kalpana as the entire belt has traditionally remained as the main business hot spots of the Temple City.
Five young artists engaged by city-based voluntary organisation are toiling hard to transform the flyover to a happening art-hub with a research-based art intervention.
“We have got the ideas to paint the murals from a series of photographs taken from different angles from near Unit I Daily Market, Rajmahal, Ashok Nagar, Kalpana and Unit II area and have started working on the central pillars. Later we will be painting the remaining pillars one by one,’’ said team leader of the artists’ group Satyabhama Majhi.
Satyabhama, a research scholar on art practices of the tribal peoples under the Utkal University of Culture and had already led her team in having outstanding works at Platform No. 6 in Bhubaneswar Railway Station, Sishu Bhawan Children’s Hospital, Cuttack and Public Art in Gopalpur (PAGO) recently, said “as a child born and brought up in Unit II area, the transformation of the Market Building and Unit I Daily Market has always remained a nice memory and like me many thousands must have experienced it in their lives. We wanted to paint that urban transformation through colourful art at Rajmahal Square flyover.’’
Snehalata Maharana,a student of Master in Fine Arts, a member of the artists’ team said “the prominent elements of the urban life are captured in the mural and all the objects with bright colours are in the focus. This has influenced us to take up the fruits like bananas intitially.’’

Satrabhama informed that during the due course of time when the paintings will be expanding towards both the ends of the flyover then the pillars will be having murals of different characters representing different urban activities nearby so that once a person comes to have a look, he/she would get a real feel of a urban archive or album to discover more than a life-size depiction of the urban flavour of the city.
Julius Das, another artist passionately doing the mural work with the team of artists, said “the typical elements like bulls in the market place and the people gulping down the famous “dahibara aloodum’’ recipe and other street foods will also have a mention on the walls.’’

Another artist said colourful vegetables and fruits like tomatoes, mangoes and watermelons would also feature in the murals as they are making the city scape colourful.
As the city is going to host the Asian Athletics Meet from July 6 to 9 the city is all set to transform itself to a colourful place and it would have more flyovers and walls painted with more and more vibrant hues to match the international event and the sportive spirit.