Mural art is one of the oldest forms of art. It was first taken as a testimony of life. From the prehistoric times, it has been used to document the era and the lifestyle. In the present, this art form is collaborated with modern art to enhance the public space and to reflect political and cultural issues. Other than this, murals are used as therapy. Art therapy is extensively used in traumatized community and rehabilitation centers.
To start with, it calms mind once you put your attention into it. If the murals are abstract and open for interpretation, then the person can go beyond and dig deeper. It keeps the mind active and fresh, especially when one is suffering from withdrawal symptoms or is traumatized. Secondly, it creates a togetherness, either by observing or painting it. Murals often represent a theme or thought which has to be conveyed to the mass. It instigates change and new perspective, more importantly educates the mass. Hence, the mural art therapy also helps in building self-esteem and self-awareness, as there is formation of independent thought. A mural can open space for discussion in a group setting. Apart from this mural art is often used in classrooms. Children find it fun to do and it lets them to express their ideas in a creative way. It can build up teamwork while the whole class is given the task to paint a mural. In the process of painting, the discussion, planning and inculcating various ideas helps to teach skills which cannot be taught in a normal classroom atmosphere. It can be seen as correct outlet of energy which is abundant in the growing children. This therapy can be used with the people suffering from loss and grief. Mural art becomes a way to express their grief and paint in memory of them. The art becomes a bridge to channelise rage and denial into resolution.
Art is a product of culture which is connected to the whole society and individual as well. Mural art enhances social well-being and helps personal growth too. Studies show that a person who is more involved in mural art tend to be more peaceful and increased ability to thrive through life. On the whole, it helps in collective growth and healing, if applied to the distressed community. It can be acknowledged that mural art therapy is has varied effects on different age group, from children to adults.
Street art is growing at a rapid speed across the world. Mural art is one such street art which is not just art to draw attention but also to transform the present. Banksy, being one of the viral artists, bring out the issues which are globally seen. His well-known art like Girl With A Balloon is a perfect example of murals which is used as social weapon of change as well for individualistic growth.
(Pic below: Banksy's Girl With A Balloon)