“I got a job in Banaras in 2007. When you first come to the city you feel there are so many dirty and unorganised places that the government is not taking care of. After walking around the city for a few days, I recognized many different places and came up with the idea of setting up wall murals there,” says Suresh K. Nair. Hailing from Kerala, 45-year-old Suresh is a renowned mural artist. He moved to Varanasi as the assistant professor in the department of painting at Banaras Hindu University and together with his visual arts students, he started the Public Art Project to give the city a new look.
Till today, they have painted about 25 beautiful murals on walls across the city. They started with private places like hotels, clubs, schools and houses, but have slowly moved to public places with the support of the government. Depending on the size, completion of one mural takes about a week or more.
A private school opposite the BHU campus had invited Suresh and his students to work in a portion of the school that had almost turned into a garbage dumping area. They erected a wall and painted murals representing the five elements of nature with symbols like birds, fish, etc. Other than his students, Suresh is also trying to involve local workers in this project.