An old abandoned wall in the city of Vizag has a new life infused into it. Artist Sonali Upadhyaya was contacted by fighters squadron a few months ago to transform a wall they had found while clearing the area at the location. With a theme of honouring our country’s defence heroes, Sonali, quite amazingly, came up with the idea of doing a graffiti that captures the quintessence of the squadron. Here’s what the creator of this brilliant artwork had to share with Yo! Vizag.
“After being contacted by the concerned authorities, I visited this site located in the military base of Vizag. A 14 feet high and 40 feet wide old wall, whose origin still remains unknown, stood there waiting to be transformed into something substantial and beautiful. I wanted to do a graffiti on it which proves to be a testament to the honour of our defence heroes.
Once I was equipped with the basic requirements, I started with the graffiti in September last year. However, the seasonal rains flooded the area and made it inaccessible until November. The personnel there raised the wall higher by filling in mud, in order to ensure that it would not be affected by any other flood in the future. The wall was made ready again before I resumed my work on December 11, 2017.
I started painting four blue themed panels that displayed a set of proud defence personnel. The wall now has sunrays shooting across it with a Sailor, dressed up in a crisp white uniform, and three other sailors watching their aircraft soar into the high skies. I also put up a quote which says, “Where Heroes Rise”, to signify the fact that amateurs are turned into fighter pilots at this very squadron.
While the end product is totally satisfying and the whole process to reach it was a fun-filled one, I had to encounter quite a few challenges too. While the mid-day sun made my life tough, persistent beehives and the overwhelming scale of the wall posed as other major challenges. On the whole, it was a true pleasure making this artwork and something that I would certainly treasure for a long time to come.”
The wall is located in the military base near the city’s airport, and might not be accessible by everyone.
Sonali Upadhyaya is primarily a comic book artist who has the credit of turning many walls into excitable things in the past.