In March '01 Auroville received and enjoyed,
and still enjoys, a visit of Parisian wall artist Jerome Mesnager, and
pretty soon all residents became delightfully aware of his art form! We
quote from an article in AVToday of June this year:
Jerome's white figures
Jerome is an urban artist who is well known all
over the world for the white figures which he paints on walls, facades,
hoardings. His white ghost wanders the streets of Paris at night, climbing,
resting, leaving its imprint on doors and walls. Mesnager's white figure
emerged from a meditation on light. By eliminating all colours and the
canvas itself, he explains, the painter finds himself alone, and finds
himself part of a living, internal canvas. "When I find the right
door or wall, everything goes fast," Mesnager says. "I jump
against the wall in the pose I want to represent and I paint very fast.
It takes 26 seconds."
chooses his sites with precision and, like most Parisian wall artists,
he finds the oldest surfaces the most inviting: the catacombs, the ancient
stone facades, walls that look as if they came from the original quarries
from which the city was built. "More and more I find debris interesting,"
he says. "It has colour and an atmosphere that carries emotion."
His white figure has been seen as far from Paris
as the Great Wall of China and lurking near the pyramids of Egypt. And
now it has appeared in Auroville.
On his experience in Auroville
"Auroville is truly a dream. This dream
comes close to what I conceive normal life should be. To rediscover the
true values of individual and group life strikes me as a necessity in
the age we are living in. The fact that there are places on earth where
people are experimenting with living in a different way must lead to society's
regards to the thought of Sri Aurobindo and Mother, I would observe that
it exists outside time but can be applied at any given moment anywhere.
As to the self, to take good care of oneself on the physical and spiritual
planes leads one to the awareness that we are a single current of circulating
energy. This energy can be used to do things and to build and create.
Let us consider Auroville as a reservoir of energy that can shine its
light on other cities that might need it."
On the wall painting at Bharat Nivas
"The existence of an organised art school
open to those of all ages who want to evolve through art without exams
seems to me to be of capital importance for any society. I discovered
with the Pyramid art teachers and their students people who shared this
new energy of Auroville. Our first contact was established through a fresco
I painted for them at the Centre for Further Learning building. This was
our first energy exchange.
Then we started having discussions. I saw their paintings and drawings
and I immediately thought of creating something together based on the
principle of space sharing: that is, where there are no boundaries between
different peoples' paintings, where each individual starts from a center
to move out towards others, so conveying a sense of fusion.
The idea came to me of a theme for the sharing:
'Galaxies' (with a wink and a nod towards the town plan). We prepared
by working together for a week, putting our ideas down on paper at the
school. We had discussions in order to get to know each other better and
to exchange our visions of art. Auroville artists spontaneously came by
The second week's activities unfolded on a
large wall at Bharat Nivas. A great joy was born during this experience.
The different energies gathered together and became one.
I observed a great lucidity in the youth. They are extremely capable
and I came to understand from them that one doesn't just have to accept
the future and what it brings, but one can actively prepare it as well."