World Tourism Day-27 September
Udaipur : ‘Athithi Devo Bhav’ is the Indian philosophy that implies hospitality, respecting the guests and serving them as Gods. However, this time it was other way round when a team of 4 enthusiastic artists from NewZealand taught the residents how they should show love for their city and its heritage values. A large dull wall near Lake Pichhola that had been disfigured by ‘paan spits’, peeing and litters has been created into a lovely ‘selfie wall’ now, thanks to the efforts of the artists who spent hours for its transformation.
Cathy Pope, a jewellery designer, Hayley King a Flox – artist, Ema Frost a painter, and Sacha Stejko a photographer collaborated to bring together their own unique sets of skills and they chose Udaipur for their first venture. The girls came here under a special task ‘ The Painted Peacock Project’ a trip that aimed at sharing knowledge with local children in need and teaching them in the art of stenciling, painting and jewelry making. Ema contacted her friend Rajesh Soni, an artist and resident of Udaipur who arranged facilities for holding their workshops here. “ I approached authorities of the West Zone Cultural Center who were skeptical about the project and hence couldn’t much help.
Then I met teachers of the govt primary school at Badi who readily agreed to provide us space and leisure hours inside the school premises” Rajesh told Udaipur Kiran. The KIWI team arrived the city in the first week of September and stayed here till 17th. Besides grooming the kids in painting and teaching them to make jewelry, the team also painted a large scale mural near Lake Pichhola. Unable to cope with the scorching heat, the team members worked in the early morning hours to beautify the wall. And their efforts bore fruits. People are urged to stop at the spot and click selfies with the amazing backdrop.
“Udaipur is so beautiful, only if the people too realize it and take little efforts to keep it clean and tidy. Walls are living spaces that can speak volumes for the city, its traditions and people. They should be taken care of” was the message the team members left back. “ The girls will be documenting the task accomplished under the project and later an exhibition will be held in New Zealand. A percentage of proceeds from the sale of their works would be given for buying art supplies for their little school friends back in Udaipur. Udaipur administration has appreciated their efforts and is mulling on organising a ‘Street Art Festival’ in future to encourage locals and visitors for similar endeavours.