Hospitals all over the world have really beautiful murals or paintings on their walls. It makes sense; the patients could use a therapeutic and relaxing ambience.
Not so in Karachi. Most hospitals look like dumps in the middle of dump sites. And the bigger, better ones have a clinical edge that is almost frightening.
Street art has been done many times to beautify Karachi (soon overwritten by graffiti, more often than not) but hospitals hadn’t been paid attention to much.
Coincidentally, around the same time as I planned this, another architect, Haya Qadri, came up with a similar plan titled “little gestures”. So I teamed up with her to execute this part of The Untold Edition.
I had already been in contact with Rainbow Paints and they agreed to supply the wall paints for this venture.
As for the hospital, what could be a more poetically just place to paint a mural than an eye hospital. So I took my team of volunteers down to a non-profit eye hospital in a rundown area of Karachi known as Baloch Colony.
A lot of backwork went into executing this project.
- Designing a basic idea of what we would be painting since the walls were narrow and sceneries by individual artists couldn’t be accommodated
- Meeting with the Rainbow Paints team at the venue to determine the amount, color and type of paint required
- Gathering volunteers into a whatsapp group to communicate essential information
And then the three days of intense hardwork began. For me especially they were grinding! Because I had to not only paint but oversee mixing of colors, sharing of supplies, delegation of duties and I had to keep an eye out for dramatic mistakes that could mess with the aesthetics.
But ultimately, watching the patients walk in and express delight at our efforts made it all worth it!