Ella & Pitr, « Les Papiers Peintres – Railways, walls and floors »2 min
Street artists from Saint-Étienne, in December 2019 Ella & Pitr went to embellish three Indian cities with their work: Goa, Mumbai and Dharavi. Travel diary of this colourful project.
Sand and colour merchants
“In Mumbai, we created an ephemeral work with coloured powder, made from dyed sand and salt, called Rangoli. ”
Goa, work in progress
"On the roof of this little-used car park, at 35°C, we painted, in a blue reminiscent of the colour of the "azulejos" on the streets of Goa, plastic bags, bottles by the sea and other waste floating on the swimsuit of a giant sleeping lady."
With bare hands
“After a day of Rangoli, we are covered in pigment and as the last colour we used was black, we look like miners. Indians like to celebrate colours and throw dyed powders around, ending up covered in pigment.”
“The powder drawing we made in Dharavi was not in itself a curiosity for the locals, except that it was much bigger than those made at the Rangoli festival. According to the police at the nearby police station, it was even the largest in India!”
Sleeping in Goa
"The lady fell asleep on the roof of a car park, between the river dotted with floating casinos and the future motorway which will take her to the airport in a matter of minutes. She will wake up when the cars stop and the sand has returned. In the meantime, she dreams.”
“This sleeping lady's bathing cap is inspired by 1970s models, when Goa was a paradise for hippies and environmental carelessness with regard to new materials, such as plastic. Her earring is reminiscent of the red bindi Indian women paint on her foreheads.”
“We travelled through the city and its railway tracks on crowded trains, open doors, our hair in the wind, with our friend Alkemy, a local graffiti artist, until we found the perfect spot to create graffiti. We love the uncontrollable and free energy of the graffiti movement. We couldn't not do some lettering in Mumbai!”
Laughing in Dharavi
“This aerial photo was taken a few minutes before the local kids came out to play and started erasing the powder drawing. The laughing character will be tickled for three days before disappearing almost completely, worn away by footballs, bikes, motorbikes and passers-by. Sad to see it disappear, locals have invited us to paint it again on our next visit.”
Ha ha ha!
“We like to play with the erasure of our works. We have blown up painted walls in quarries for Blast, filmed the erasure of a sleeping giant by cleaners in Saint-Étienne, observed the slow disappearance of a drawing made on the turf of the Montargis aerodrome, watched the sea take a couple of lovers drawn with seaweed on a beach in Chile…”
“They're there, they're laughing, they're rummaging, they're shouting, they're playing. This design is a tribute, in Goa’s slum, to all the children we met between Mumbai and Goa. They were always there when we were painting, curious about what we were going to do and always encouraging us.”
The Institut français and the project
For their work in India, in December 2019, Ella & Pitr benefited from the support of the Institut français in partnership with the City of Saint-Étienne.
The Institut français partners with local authorities to develop international artistic exchanges. Find out more about project assistance programmes in partnership with local authorities