Art, as part of a diverse range and products of human activities, needs to be celebrated.
One form of visual art that requires such celebration is painting, a mode of creative creation which is often practiced through applying paint, pigment, colour and other medium to a surface.
In a bid to celebrate the art of painting, the Visual Artists Association of Malawi (Vaam) has decided to provide civic education to pregnant women at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital’s antenatal ward through paintings.
Vaam artists have chosen to paint drawings on the wall of the ward to deliver their messages.
The paintings being done at the ward are naturalistic and loaded with narrative content, symbolism and emotion. They also carry a million words, thus, through them a lot of messages that cannot be communicated through the mouth will be communicated.
Vaam southern region chapter president, Peter Chikondi, said the association, with a donation of paint from Rainbow Paints decided to embark on the project as one way of contributing to the president’s safe motherhood initiative as well as for the public to sample their work.
“Vaam has been functioning in the underground for a long time and we realised it all lies on us if we want the public to know there are artists like us and we decided to do something to the society through which people can know there is such an association,” said Chikondi.
Chikondi said the association, if it gets full support from the corporate world, harbours plans to take this country wide to other hospitals more especially rural area health centres.
Vaam project officer Gilbert Mpakule, said the visual artists feel pregnant mothers should know of what is required of them and because of this they decided on the initiative by complementing the clinical messages with artistic messages.
Mpakule said before the artists came up with the painting ideas, they went to the hospital and asked what messages their paintings should carry.
Most of the messages being conveyed in the paintings include advice to pregnant women.