A Mural by O.Z. Bhatia

2.6 x 19 metres,
Acrylics, blood, sweat, tears,
Bódvalenke Freskófalu, Lenke-Land, Hungary, October 2013AD.
Executed with the valued assistance of The Venus Envy

So here you have it, the results of a 3,300 mile round-trip into the swamps of Lenke Land to paint the mural entitled 'Romanistan'. It took me precisely two weeks, painting between 5-8 hours per day. Much thigh-squatting, artist-hanging, leg-dangling, bag-hoisting, scaffold-scraping and brush-stroking was needed to complete this epic painting which to date is very probably my most important work of art. I'd like to acknowledge a huge debt of gratitude to my family, supporters, patrons and mural-commissioners for facilitating the creation of Romanistan.

While there, I also wrote 7 poems documenting our strange and beautiful experiences in Bódvalenke, a Romungro Roma pocket of rurality...but those transcriptions are for another time.


A little about the subject of the mural - Romanistan is about the journey of the Roma people through vast oceans of time, space and culture. It depicts an intrepid migration, from the evil gods and palaces of a Hellish world to Utopia, presented as an idyllic hilltop town under the protective watch of benevolent deities. The mural is divided in half, the left side being the darkworld, the right, being a land of happiness and light. The portrait of the man in the centre straddles both the darkworld and the light but the eyes look towards a brighter future.

Omar Zingaro Bhatia, 7th October 2013AD

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