Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Mural from the silent valley~


I am coming back to this space after the longest gap of time. It feels like returning home after a long whimsical travel; and the last few months have been something of that sort.

Before I get started on everything I wish to share, let me tell you a story that I have been wanting to share since winter last year.


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I was once again back to the cozy hills in the north of India. The wind was familiar; precarious. I was there after almost a year but nothing had really changed. That’s the thing about mountains in any part of the world. The look audacious from a distance but as you come get closer, they have their wrinkles, their tales.


Winter was at it’s all time high and I was not quite prepared for the adamant weather. I had my little journals with me and I would draw all the conversations and cuisines but this time there was something larger, vaster waiting for me. It was a beautiful wall standing right in front of the snow-clad peaks waiting for me to translate my thoughts onto it’s textured self.

The story was simple; it was about people from different pockets of the globe coming back to Mcleodganj from time to time, making their temporary home there. Pink House, which is probably the most popular amongst travelers and explorers wanted me to make their wall speak with their guests.

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For the last few years I have mostly worked on small journals, minuscule papers and coy canvases. But this time it was something large; the weather was not favorable too and I was quite skeptical if the strokes would be the same.

© Rahul Mansur


It took me back to the time I had spent with my teacher. He would often ask me to not get conscious of the surface I was drawing on. He would get me buckets of water and thick extrovert brushes to let my mind flow on the papers. He would make me draw a lot; and he would draw along. I was happy I had followed what he had told me once, “No matter what, draw every day. Make the strokes and lines a part of your system and then no size or surface will ever matter.”

I began drawing on the first day of work and my mind was initially distracted by the height I was standing on. I have terrible vertigo but it seemed to have lost somewhere in the drawings. As I made the first few strokes, I felt the connect with the wall. It had started opening up to me. It was nervous and cold too.

Sometimes the involvement in the medium and surface is the most difficult to achieve. It’s not really about drawing. It is just a part of it. But the real challenge is to let yourself loose and surrender yourself to your piece. If you hesitate, it will too.

© Rahul Mansur

© Rahul Mansur


I would once in a while stare at the snow-clad peaks peeping out and be mesmerized looking at the shades of the sky. Nature has it’s own acrobats, they are surreal and they sort of illustrate what you are going through emotionally. Right behind me was a construction site. They would shout all day and sometimes keep staring at my drawing until their manager would come and shout at them. The women especially would ask me what I was drawing and once the faces started emerging on the wall they would ask me if I was illustrating them.

Acrylics & Oil, 8 X 12 FEET
Photo: © Rahul Mansur

Acrylics & Oil, 8 X 12 FEET
Photo: © Rahul Mansur

© Rahul Mansur




The people around had slowly started interacting with the wall; after all that is what we strive for. If it doesn't connect with you, it’s just another simple wall.




Acrylics & Oil, 8 X 12 FEET




Here is a beautiful time lapse video created by Rahul Mansur:






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