Students of Kerala’s tribal welfare school use paint for the first time on library wall

A group of students at Government Model Residential School, Wadakkanchery in Kerala was given a free hand to unleash their imagination on the 12×20-foot wall of their library.

Drawing the scenes of birds and countylife  which they had grown up seeing, about 18 students from classes V to X worked on the fascinating mural. It took children over three days to complete the murals.

The entire mural has been done in just three colours — terracotta, white and black. “With just four litres of paint (the three colours combined), these children have created an authentic artwork that reflects their passion for art,” says the art teacher Priya KG.

Of all the students hailing from different parts of rural areas of Kerala, many of them studying the school, managed by the Tribal/Social Welfare Department belong to the forest dweller communities. 

It has students from the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe communities from various parts of Kerala. Many of them belong to forest dweller communities. 

As per Priya, when she joined the school two years ago, she found pictures drawn using stone on the rocky patches outside the school. “These were pictures of elephants, trees, birds and people,” she says. 

Hence she procured the paints and brushes for them to experiment with and instead of teaching them rules. They were also given another library wall on the ground floor of the school to experiment.

“The idea was to help them get acquainted with paint and its possibilities. By the time they did this second wall, they had lost their inhibitions and were confident about using paints,” says Priya.

Earlier in 2023, some of the students from the school led by Priya visited Kochi to paint a mural at the Kashi Hallegua House at Jew Town in Mattancherry, as part of an exhibition, Sea: A Boiling Vessel, presented by Aazhi Collective.

Images by The Hindu

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