FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: FAQs
1. what is "the wall project"
The Wall Project has a life of its own, being organic in nature it builds with us a sense of hope and belonging and by some natural process of preservation it breathes life till a new life is painted over it.
the basic idea is to create a visual or communication which stays in peoples mind or making those passing by - smile, cry, laugh etc etc. we want to give Mumbai city a character.
A identity which visual communication can do… thru color, form, design, shape, etc so it would be great if we can stay away from public service messages or any regional or political visual.
the wall project is a humble project and a platform - an interpretation of each individual to create a dialogue between all forms of arts and awareness.
2. how/when it started? and why?
The wall project started with a blank white compund wall, with an intense burning of “something has to be done to it”.
It was an initiative to add visual elements of colour, form and texture to a space, to make the area more alive and generate a feeling among people who pass by it daily.
3. it's an "open project" - what does it mean?
That means everyone and anyone is allowed to join in and play an active part in whatever way you would like to explore.
We believe awareness can create a better way of living, communication and a better way of looking at things around you.
the only reason people are coming together is because the wall project is creating an impression in the minds of people of diff mediums to come together and where you as an individual want to share what u have or know.
the basic idea is to create a awareness, but every individual has a diff interpretation of that awareness in their mind. art is one of the strongest medium to allow interpretations and we would like to leave it at that.
a project like this gives an oppurtunity to each and every person to create a communication.
4. how to find a wall?
The best way is to walk around, stroll around. you will notice some walls look dirty, unkept or lifeless. then you walk around to find the owner of the wall and ask for permission to paint his wall. You have to give them an idea of what you want to paint so that they need not refuse you. You need to be sensitive to the area and to the people living around. Advertising, foul language, drugs, religion, political messages are a no no.
Lastly, before they make up their mind you should tell them that you are taking responsibility for what you are painting on it and in case they dont like it, you will paint it back with their favorite color.
its an offer they cant refuse.
Murals can also be painted on existing wall surfaces. Proper surface preparations must be observed to insure longevity of the mural.
A surface that has been previously painted will not be as permanent as a surface that has never been painted or has been stripped of all existing paint.
Since outside murals are subject to the harshest environmental conditions, color and paint selection is very important. Apex is recommended
Do not use water only for thinning. Outside murals exposed to weather need maximum film integrity. Too much water will weaken the paint film.
6. how to get others in your city interested or to support.
find a wall, and let every one know when and where, your support will reach.
7. other ways of getting involved(painting, conceptualizing, mechanics,moral support, design, co-ord, planning, documenting, photographing) also coming up with solutions on how to make this project more sustainable. you tell us... :)
8. BYOP - Bring Your Own Paint
9. Why do you paint in the streets?
why not? its a public space - where people of all levels/class use it equally for the same purpose - a common ground. some go by it faster, some slow down.
We started with private walls. We noticed that many walls were unpainted or not maintained and we approached people/owners and asked them if we could paint them. We are all Mumbaiites, with different perspectives of the city and it is amazing to use it as a canvas and paint on public surfaces where visibility is greater. So more people can see, enjoy, learn, share and smile.
its basically "have a great day" feeling we like to generate for everyone who pass it or live around there.
For example: for the "The great wall of Mumbai" - on tulsi pipe road - we had been eyeing that wall for so so long. So far we had been painting on walls of private homes, shops, schools, etc and We wanted to paint on major public spaces but thought that the process of getting permission was too daunting and bureaucratic. We were completely surprised when R A Rajeev, Additional Municipal Commissioner, BMC approached us. As He gave us complete creative control it was a dream come true. Around four hundred people came of all ages. Some were not artists, some were. It was about being inclusive and the turnout was great. this is just the beginning.
10. Is this a political statement for you as well?
no political statement. color to sooth your eyes and form to tease your mind, make you smile.
The Wall Project is different things to different people but it is basically about using the wall as a canvas or a medium in the just the way print or television is a medium. Wall art has always existed in India on temple walls, village houses or old Bollywood Art, which created a unique personality to each township. (rangoli, print on fabric, embroidery - diff forms of expressing life. )
We felt that we as young people were exposed to a lot of creativity whether in the world of advertising or art/design but nothing new and extraordinary was happening so we started The Wall Project as platform for creative output.
11. What kind of response do you get?
extremely supportive, enthusiastic and energetic.
12. Who and/or what are some of your influences?
there is no direct influence. there is a will "to do". To do because you feel strongly about it. to do it together and to be sensitive.
13. Do you feel the work you are doing is something that should be preserved or stay transient?
the wall project has a life of its own, being organic in nature it builds with us a sense of hope and belonging and by some natural process of preservation it breathes life till a new life is painted over it.
14. How can people get involved?
Join the Facebook Group! all past events with pictures and all are there. and all news or plans go on facebook first. ofcourse you may email us urgent questions that are not answered on facebook - firstname.lastname@example.org
15. Essence of The Wall Project?
A humble project that started out with a few enthusiastic people, is growing to be a bigger, better project.
through the wall project we have had interactions with so many different kinds of people and now we realize the potential each person has to change things through sharing and by taking charge.
the wall project has been a learning as well as an enlightening process for all those who have been a part of it or have been touched by it in some way.
its a collective that brings people of different cultural backgrounds on the same platform and empowering them to bring the best of themselves and those around them.
the wall project is a fine example of how one can add colour to life without tampering an existing space and add new dimensions to a daily routine lifestyle.
the wall project is organic and nature, is open to all, and has no boundaries - art, design, music, dance, etc
the wall project is constantly searching for more and new collaborations, new associations and more partners in crime.
A multi city nation wide project
16. How did u guys think of this idea?
17. What did you want to achieve from this project?
we have so far collaborated with Fine Art students of Rachana Sansad, Alliance Francaise & SOAP, Snehasadan,the Dharavi Project,UniTree,Slave Farm Crew, etc etc and now the BMC.
we have worked collectivly with a lot of people and are inviting more people to showcase their ideas/skills.
This process allows one to be more observant/sensitive about the spaces we use and move within The wall project in its own way tries to start a conversation, with no political or religious attachments.
18."Graffiti tourism" is a concept for travelers who want to come and do some (legal) art work in the city's public scape.
19. I know a good wall...
PUBLIC SPACES we are looking at more and more new walls - bigger, smaller, longer.... Subways and flyovers in Mumbai seem an interesting space to tap and make lively with color. We are constantly trying out new techniques of surface design/painting on the walls. We are open to more and more enthusiastic artists/non-artists from different fields to come forward to create innovative art pieces in public spaces.
20. Corporate/commericial projects
If a particular wall to be painted is a corporate/commercial wall or for a commercial activity, we generally encourage the artists to charge for their time. Also one can directly contact the artists via facebook.
21. I am an artist. I got a call for commercial work from a corporate who contacted me via the wall project community.
we would like the artist to directly handle that query and working terms/conditions. If the artist wants to collaborate with other artists from the wall project community, they can also directly contact them via facebook.
22. we also encourage different organisations/NGO's to cross support each other if their objectives and vision overlap.
23. I have ideas to improve my city?
Ideas are always welcome. Feel free to share it with all of us. The Wall Project is a growing community of talented people from all sources of life, and there are so many unexplored areas for collaborations waiting to be tapped.
24. I am an international Graffiti artist and would love to meet other artists in India and maybe paint with them.
Sure, awesome! you can email us - email@example.com your arrival dates and maybe the cities that you will be in to paint and we can share it with the community. Graffiti or painting with spray is fairly new in India, so don't be disappointed if you don't find professional spray cans. Also most people would love to meet you, and would be great if you would like to share with us your work - maybe like a talk - share thing - presentaion- so young artists get an idea how different artists work - or any other ideas are welcome!
25.What exactly happens, you select a wall, paint it.. and?
and it stays till someone else paints over it, or the paint peels - but all that is after months and months sometimes years of people seeing it, passing by it and appreciating.
its public art in public space.
It is a conversation with all that who pass by it....
26. Are all walls painted with a particular theme?
there is so so much more ideas to paint....
depending on the talent and wit of the person - different conversations begin.
look around the wall you are going to paint, be sensitive to the location and the sentiments of the people there, and paint something that works for you as well as those who pass by.
27. Is it an Indian initiative, or followed on some international project?
yes, it is indian and it is a universal concept. and it is not a graffiti group, it is a group that does collective public art and murals in Public Spaces.
28. Does it help in the promotion of the art scene of India in any way?
Yes, it gets art out in the public domain, and encourages artists as well as non-artists to join in and express in color.
29. How has the response been?
Extremely supportive, and amazing enthusiasm from all
"The only thing one needs to focus on is that every new wall you paint should be one step ahead/better of the previous one in some way."
30. I have been following your wall project for quite some time now and dying to start this in my locality?
If you really want to start it you have to do it - show by example and then everyone realizes that its not so complicated anymore. do one wall. it can be a small wall of your own house or neighbor, go talk to someone who likes you who wouldn't mind giving u the wall. and yes you have to paint responsibly. :) it can be just stripes or flowers or what ever u please.
We usually discourage people to paint anything - that maybe illegal - or anything that is religious, commercial, political (and as well as social messages - as it becomes preachy)
If it is social messages you want to paint then - try to do it in a new way - not with text but thru new images or something.
Local people hardly read any of those social messages as they don't inspire. It's like this when you mother keeps nagging you about one thing, u want to do less of it.
so explore the same things by saying it in different ways, it would be great to inspire in a indirect way so when people decide to conserve water - they do so from within - which is much stronger, because they feel it.
Other places you can find walls are orphanages, government school, etc etc..... think think ..... easiest is ask neighbors...and also if you mess up they know where to catch you!
31. Who finances these projects?
no finances - people who come to paint bring their own paint, brushes and tools etc. or else if some organization has approached us then we recommend them to provide paints if possible.
Do you need permission from the government, or just the owner of the wall?
Inquire about the wall you like - who does it belong to? who owns the wall? - could be a shop wall, house wall, government wall, Municipality wall, private wall, defense wall, uncle, aunty, school, hospital etc then then speak to the require person and get a verbal or hand written permission.
32. Are there any other hardships/problems you have to face or had in the past regarding this?
No, problem at all. we paint nice things, nice colors, innovative styles - so every one is inspired or just happy to see a sea of color. We are always careful to not paint anything that might offense any passerby. And once people see what you are doing they just encourage you more and more.....
yeah - actually there is a problem - its addictive, you paint one wall and then u want to paint another and another...........
33. What I wanted to know is whether I can go ahead and paint it with help from artists, locals and children or will the wall project team need to be involved ?
Yes, each locality should first paint in their own area and then move to the next.
We will help you and guide you, but you have to make the first step in your area, and be prepared to go paint only if 2-3 of your friends show up, you don't need to paint the whole thing, maybe a bit by bit and slowly people will get the idea and will join u - and then it will be a party.
The wall project is an all India network of artist and non-artists who are wall painting enthusiasts.
34. Are there artists who can offer their expertise or would actually love to come to Borivali/Thane and paint a portion of the wall..
yes, the wall project has a large network of artists & non-artist and once the location and time/date is fixed we can let everyone on the network know. Depending on who is free and motivated, will show up to paint their bit. its a good way to get to know more people from your own locality as well as in the city.
35. Experts who can analyze the wall and tell us what kind of paints to use etc etc.
Yes, You can take pics of the wall and the location to be painted and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. A basic picture will do, and we should be able to recommend..... also go to your local hardware or paint shop and talk to them - they can advice you on the paint and tools to use, get ladders as well as labour to clean or scrap the wall from peeling paint, fungus, dust, etc. We suggest acrylic distemper as it is easy to use and it is water soluble,and has a nice range of colors and gives a matte finish. oil paints is very drippy and difficult to use but gives a glossy effect.
Also you want to use a paint that will not be washed of by a gentle rain or get faded immediately. If you choose to use Acrylic distemper it is advised to wet the wall a bit, so the wall can absorb the paint better, but it is not imperative.
36. children are recommended to use paint that is lead free.
37.the work on tulsi pipe road and around phoenix mills is simply amazing and we could do with a little color in the far off suburb.
yes and you and your friends can go paint on it anytime, there is so much walls left. As long as it is not religious, commercial, social, or explicit content.
38. Where is the best place for tourists to see the wall?
"Bandra" - in Bandra there are many lanes, bridges, parks, houses, basements etc that have been painted.
recommended location to start walking at Bandra - Chapel Road, you can talk to locals and even take pictures, but make sure you don't disturb the locals in their daily life/work.
or walk down Tulsi Pipe Road, start from Mahim (west) station.
39. The longest stretch?
Tulsi Pipe Road a.k.a Senapati Bapat Marg
all are invited to paint on this wall anytime of the year - (as long as its not religious, commercial, political or explicit content )
40. How many walls have been painted and how many artists have painted as of today?
more than 600 paintings have been done in various parts of mumbai, some walls are longer and have more individual pieces on them, some are on individual houses, playgrounds, hospitals etc.....
41. The Wall Project (TWP) started as a means of beautifying neighbourhood areas. Would you say it has now become an endeavour to take art to the streets?
It was always both. In Mumbai the streets are our neighborhoods, the wall project was about adding a visual experience to a landscape, to start a conversation with passerby's without making anyone uncomfortable. Basically taking art to its most simple level but complexly weaving itself within the daily life experience of people living around it or passing by it.
The whole idea of "art" is to reflect on life and that is what the wall project does. The maximum amount of freedom, you can give a person to express themselves, and it eventually comes out. the notion people have about art is that it has to be done in a particular way or has to be framed is not the only way to do art. Art need not only be in galleries or museums, art and design is a part of life - it only depends if we nurture ourselves or not.
life is art and life is design - most people don't realize it but they are doing it anyways - unconsciously.
the wall project is all inclusive and is a platform for all to grow towards an conscious, collaborative, positive future.
42. A lot of people in the city are taking their art to the streets, do you think this move will help give them the recognition they require? How?
yes, very much because people see it sometimes and call for those artists to do bigger campaigns. its the best open portfolio gallery. some people are able to bring different aspects of their personality out through this - some their ideas, some their wit...etc etc ... and it shows.... and because we use acrylic distemper the paintings lasts for years...till someone paints over it.... and the story continues....
have you seen the berlin wall?? its a sight to walk by...
43. What are the behind-the-scenes that happen before each WP? How do you find time? There is a core team..is the responsibility shared?
We all have day jobs or companies - we somehow manage the time - multitask- there is a core team in mumbai, delhi, bangalore.... and everyone is crazily motivated and very proactive. the core team is just one part of the wall project energy, its the constant feedback and leadership that we get from excited Wall project Members from Mumbai and all over India that makes it happen.
44. Who handles the publicity? What are the mediums of publicity that you use?
we don't do any publicity, the walls speak for themselves. the only forum we use is facebook which gives everyone a space to upload their artworks, photos, discussions, invites etc etc. I think facebook had a big hand in making the wall project visible, thru facebook sharing features - where your friends saw the pictures and started asking questions - and then you let them in on the secrets. But mainly it was a lot of word of mouth - friends telling friends and their other friends...... like chinese whispers.... and people who saw the walls or saw people painting and had the itch to do so themselves - knowing that they wont be judged or made fun off. and yes, then they get addicted.
the only reason the wall project has worked because - it speaks for itself and everyone who sees it - and it is very friendly and its something everyone can do in their neighborhoods or areas. It is about goodwill and stimulating oneself, and then to keep going.
The spirit that you experience when you paint a wall with your friends collectively - and come out with one great piece - is a satisfaction unimagined.
It is a simple task with a great result.
45. Have you observed more and more people coming out to display their works, this year, as compared to before?
yes, we are seeing a growth in the kind of expression, styles and colors that are used. i think each person who is part of the wall project comes and paints something many steps better or witty or complex than the previous time he/she did. there is a definite effort to use a bigger canvas and create a larger effect....
46. Do you think that the objective with which you started TWP has been observed? What more are you looking to do ?
Yes, completely and more. we are now looking at bring all forms or art, sculpture, installations, music, games, cycling, etc etc all out in the sunshine, in public spaces.
47. How many of us use the public spaces we have in India - like a garden???
How often do people complain - oh, I'm bored or I have nothing to do, or dont know what to do....... is all passe - there is so much to do, just look around you, and start with one you feel strongly about - and as long as it not illegal (like drugs, violence,....etc) people will only support you. It's how true you are to your thought, and how badly you want to achieve it.
48. What led to the birth of The wall Project?
A simple idea, of reaching out into your own neighborhood and to do an activity under mutual understanding or co-operativeness or mutual participation.
A willingness to try something new - mutual beneficial to all and willing to take responsibility for it, to pursue it and to articulate it, and to add value and color to life.
A simple idea to DO something and to share and include everyone.
49. What is the project all about?
a simple idea, of reaching out into your own neighborhood and to do an activity under mutual understanding or co-operativeness or mutual participation.
ask your self two questions:
1. how much time do you spend on tv as opposed to meeting family or hanging out with the neighbors, friends, family in free time - or things that one would do pre -TV era... that we dont do now....
sometimes there is so much more to do beyond are usual activities..... its not just painting, gardening, walking but enjoying where you live and the people around and then to do something collectively.
It started with painting walls in public spaces, but now extending to art, design, music, film, sculpture, installations etc etc .... life in public spaces.
50. How do you decide which wall to paint and what goes in, the theme?
It really depends on who is going to paint - what they want to paint - what their style is, what they want to say, If we have permission to paint a wall we paint it! etc etc.....
For the canvas - we usually look for walls which look like they desperately need a new life - or dirty or just part of an interesting landscape or building in a public space - and yes get a verbal permission from the owners.
51. What is the main objective/idea behind the project?
to sensitively add color to neighborhoods and highlight its various elements. and start a conversation with those who pass by it
not to demonstrate religious /advertising/ social issues/ etc.
not to paint social messages but to explore ideas beyond that, that might indirectly inspire people to open their minds or think differently.
to have fun, and to initiate interactions with people you normally wouldn't. Let this be your excuse.
to explore the visual language and to share it
to take responsibility for your surroundings.
to remind people to smile like children do.
52. What is your next destination?
if we have permission to paint a wall we paint it! any where in India!!!
Do you have a wall or know of a wall we can paint?