Homage to Nepalis’ resilience

KATHMANDU: Martin Travers, a British mural artist’s painting exhibition ‘Of Struggles and Dreams: A homage to the people of Nepal’ that began on August 23 at Siddhartha Art Gallery, Babermahal has captured the pain, hope and resilience of the Nepali people after the devastating earthquake of April 25 and its aftershocks.

Echoing the title of the exhibition, his paintings capture the Nepali people’s struggle — be it women, children or men — to rebuild their life with hope as their strength. This has been executed beautifully through the expressions of the people that can touch anyone’s soul.

In one of his paintings, he has captured a schoolgirl who is focusing on her work. The girl using a brush is painting on a white sheet. Travers, in realistic form, has captured the moment of the school girl working on her painting. The background is dim red and it seems the girl is meditative, focusing on her brush and blank sheet of paper and her facial expression gives us a hint that she has experienced some kind of trauma and wants to get out of it.

The exhibition also features paintings where Travers has collaborated with Nepali artist Samundra Man Shrestha. In one of the collaborative paintings, Travers has painted a young girl with parted plaited hairdo in a white dress who is looking upward and has a smile on her face. And in the painting’s background, Shrestha has painted a White Tara, the Goddess of Compassion, where there is a feeling that the girl possesses similar features as the goddess.

The exhibition also showcases paintings done by Nepali children during art workshops that Travers conducted in earthquake-affected schools and relief camps in Panga-Kirtipur, Thulo Byasi Bode-Bhaktapur, Dallu and Basantapur. And it also has paintings by children from different schools in England, Ireland, Holland, Australia and USA that were sent to Travers as an expression of solidarity with the children of Nepal.

The exhibition is on till September 6.