Here’s How Artist Avantika Mathur Worked Her Graffiti Magic In India’s 1st All Women Street Art Festival
- IWB Post
- May 9, 2019
“An unbridled sense of satisfaction and being whole.
Paint specked skin, smiling faces, happy eyes,
complete with the art that surrounds you
To find love within yourself and be one with nature.”
For an impassioned artist, art is absolutely cathartic, a window into the secret laws that bind this universe, the very essence of the human spirit and the language of the soul. For artist Avantika Mathur, art happens to be all that and more.
With graffiti as her choice of expression, Avantika has been using her art to capture the power of feminine energy in an explicit connection with its basic source as well as incarnation as most of us like to believe i.e. mother Earth. As an artist, her attempt also is to take us back to the basics, bring us face to face with the insignificance of the might that we have assumed over Earth and Nature and everything else corresponding to them.
This is exactly the theme that she focussed on in the recently-concluded Ladies First Street Art Festival, the first of its kind women-led art event in India till date. Organised by Wicked Broz in collaboration with the Military Road Residents Welfare Association (MRRWA), the week-long festival gave seven street women artists, who hailed from places like New Zealand, Boston, Mumbai etc., a chance to take over the streets of Marol in Mumbai and to colour it with their vision of an all-encompassing art, something which is always replete with meaning and purpose.
Avantika took the opportunity to leave her imprint in two of the walls in Marol. Intrigued by the bedazzling hues and intricate craftsmanship involved, we couldn’t help but reach out to her and understand the significance behind the two artworks and she was happy to share.
She explained, “I did the first wall in Bharat Van, which is a park in Marol, and my attempt was to highlight how we are constantly moving away from Nature. If you look carefully, you will find a dragonfly, flowers, and mushrooms, all done in exaggerated proportion. I wanted to demonstrate how each and every life form in the universe is extremely integral to human existence.”
“We often fail to realise some of the most basic truths like if there were no birds or insects, there wouldn’t be any pollination and thus there wouldn’t be any fruits. However, humans turn so blind and selfish in their hedonistic pursuits that they lose grasp of such basic realities. I thus wanted to remind them about this basic precept underlying all life on Earth, through beauty and colour. I wanted to remind them to look around, be alive, touch a leaf, feel each one of the veins running through it, get one with Nature and thus be thankful to the universe for letting you be a part of its plentitude,” she added.
There also appears a very personal element in the artwork which can be observed in the ear that has been drawn. With its multiple piercings, it is a reflection of Avantika’s own personality, thus merging the art and the artist together.
For her second graffiti, Avantika chose to paint a house’s wall in the Art Village of Marol. During her paintwork, she was warmly welcomed by the inhabitants of the house, they treated her with utmost love and respect, and also fed her rice and chicken.
“The people who lived there had really big hearts and I wanted to incorporate an element of their warmth. I wanted to illustrate the importance of understanding how we cohabit with others. I have thus incorporated a heart to elucidate that all of us have it inside us to do good and be the best version of ourselves. I also wanted to include an eye and drew it over a window to bring out the peacefulness,” she shared.
The artwork also features some of Avantika’s trademark motifs, a cat, for instance, to highlight the beauty of feline energy. She has also used mushrooms to celebrate their every-growing spirit and their capacity to grow even in the wild.
Avantika also talked about the importance of such street art festivals. She said, “Everyone can see the street art, it is not exclusive. Everyone sees it differently and has a different perspective to bring to it which makes it so much more, a never seizing conversation between so many minds.”
Picture Credits: Prabhal Dayal