A metropolitan city like Pune isn’t short of natural as well as man-made art. If you think any city, not just Pune, looks arid and shallow at first glance, then you’re probably right. However, I can say this for a city like Pune- you must dig in deeper.
The most beautiful part about Pune’s art, be it any kind, is that it’s left for interpretation. Nothing is in-your-face and banal; you just need to experience it. Pune’s street art is one such beautiful art endeavor which has glorified the architectural beauty of our city. It feels like the city has a new, vibrant soul now.
Pune Speaking Walls is an amazing joint venture started by the PMC and Pune Biennale Foundation. The central aim is to have Pune’s walls express, to give them a life of their own. Another important goal is to have the walls narrate our city’s soul through visual artwork. “To build a community of aesthetic citizens who are aware of the heritage and stories this city has to offer” is what Speaking Walls has to say about the purpose of their initiative.
The Pune Biennale Foundation consists of professional artists, art students, and school children. This foundation is a non-profit organisation and it brings together art and architecture to enhance the visual aesthetics in public spaces. It also strives to create a platform for artists to display their art publically, as well put our city in the global art radar. They also aim at achieving fluent exchange of knowledge and discipline when it comes to public art forms.
Pune Speaking Walls is a project of this foundation which is focused on the citizens interacting with the art work to create a very personalised engagement. This not only makes our city memorable, but it also adds a very humane factor to what otherwise would be a civilization lost amidst the concrete jungle. Some of the most prominent artworks of Speaking Walls are-
- Shinde School, Taljai – Created by Ganesh Pokharkar along with ten students. The artwork highlights the changes which have happened in the city.
- Balbharti Wall, SB Road – Created by Abha Bhagwat, this wall is a collaboration of Pune Speaking Walls and Balbharti. The artwork on the wall narrates the institution’s glorious vision.
- Aravani Art Project, Budhwar Peth – A joint effort of artists from Pune, Chennai and Mumbai, the project raises awareness about the transgender community and aims to shatter the stereotypes.
- Yerwada Mural, Song of the City – A narration of time through our very own river, Mula and Mutha, the artists tell the story of our city throughout the time. One of my personal favourites.
- Prakriti by Sujata Dharap – A mural which depicts the duality of Nature and the way the artist sees it. The constant change of Nature is depicted beautifully in this mural.
These are just some of the mind-blowing artworks which our city has been graced with, all thanks to the Speaking Walls Project. They have been added to our proud treasury of culture and heritage and will indeed be a talking point in our country some day!
All image credits: Pune Biennale