This mural is a visual celebration of the Stockton community and its resilience to not only survive, but thrive. This mural brings visibility to the Stockton Punjabi community which has rarely been depicted in public art.
The mural itself is an amalgamation of inherited art histories. The Eastern influences can be understood through the two figures, the Mughal miniature inspired floral border and the arches that reference ancient Indian architecture. The color palette was made intentionally pastel to curate a space where everyone is welcome. The placid nature of these tones can exude feelings of calmness and serenity as well as symbolize the season of Spring. Pastel tones are associated with various art movements like the Rococo period (early 18th century), but have been an integral part of Indian miniature work as early as the 15th Century.
The colors are inspired by historical pigments that were used in traditional Indian miniature paintings. The teal background references the pigment Malachite, the pink hints at Thulite, and the blue arches are influenced by Lapis Lazuli. The contrast of the pastels with the jewel tones further elevates the aesthetic integration of antiquity with the contemporary.
The figures are shown practicing social distancing and wearing masks. The longing they feel is universally recognized; it is not limited to any one community. Globally we are impacted by COVID-19 on both a micro and macro scale. This mural addresses a tender moment and acknowledges the need to be close to our loved ones, yet having to stay apart to keep them safe. The two figures are contained within arches and divided by a window on the other side of which is a garden, symbolizing the freedom we are all working towards. They provide a link to the outside world and symbolize the freedom we are all working towards.
About the Artist
Painter Sunroop Kaar received a Bachelor in Fine Arts from Emily Carr University, Vancouver, British Columbia. Her work has been exhibited at the Old Brompton Gallery, Kensington, London; the Space: An Art Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia; and in a virtual exhibition at the Carnegie Arts Centre, Turlock, California. She lives in Turlock, California.
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