The folk fantasy churned out by Rangrez (the artist group of the Indian Social Club) in its latest virtual art exhibition for the month of March has generated a tremendous response form artists and art lovers in Oman, India and other parts of the world over the past weekend.
The exhibition, titled ‘Lok Kala’, which opened on March 25, was curated by Shalini Kartik, a resident artist in Oman whose own paintings are steeped in culture and inspired by tradition. Weeks of research has gone into selecting the works for this exhibition as well as getting familiarised with the origins of the various folk and tribal art forms and their representations, she told Muscat Daily.
The exhibition, supported by the Embassy of India and the Indian Social Club as part of the celebration of 75 weeks of’New [email protected]′, comprises 34 different folk art forms from India in over 43 paintings done by 39 artists.
In a two part feature on this exhibition, the various art forms were divided into five regional categories – central, eastern, northern, southern and western. While those representing central and eastern India were featured last Sunday, reproduced below are the artworks representing northern, southern and western India.
You can visit this exhibition at: https://youtu.be/swnCUgZ_o4E
Aipan art originated from Almora, in Uttarakhand,is a traditional folk art specifically made by women of Uttarakhand. Aipan painting has its unique identity which is always done on the empty walls and on the ground which is a symbol of fortune and fertility. Aipan or alpana is an art which has a special place in all kumaoni homes.
My art reflects my emotions and thoughts and as I move the colours on the canvas, it comes to life. I also feel good when I enable my students with my knowledge of art.
Kashmir papier-mache art
The Kashmiri craft of papier-mache mainly uses wood, leftover wood pulp and paper waste. The first step, ‘Sakhtsazi’, involves making the foundation of the papier-mache figurine or object with the paper pulp, while ‘Naqashi’ is the final step of painting and decoration. Some of the popular themes that appear on Kashmiri papier-mache products include flowers, box patterns, jungle motifs, and Kashmiri symbols, like almonds and the chinar – a five pointed leaf.
I selected the Kashmiri art of papier-mache as I enjoy experimenting with new mediums, creating floral designs, using a variety of vibrant colours and challenging myself by making intricate patterns. I have made and used actual papier-mache for this work.
Thangka art is an ancient type of Tibetan art, which has been preserved in the Himalayan region for over 2000 years. It is a scroll like painting which can be explored like a map through visual symbols and colours. The materials used are stone colours with vegetable dyes, gold dust and gold threads useful for tapestry. The paintings are bordered with rich silk and brocade.
I chose this style as I was awestruck by the intricate work. Painting this work seemed like a meditation. Even though the style was new to me, I chose it to portray the essence of womenhood and nature.
Dr Neetu Chhabria
Kalamkari paintings are made on fabric and fabric scrolls, as mentioned in ancient Hindu, Buddhist and Jain literature. Kalamkari was derived from the words ‘kalam’, which means ‘pen’ and ‘kari’, which means craftsmanship. This became popular under the patronage of the Golconda sultanate.
Medicine and all forms of art are close to my heart. The beautiful colours around me almost give my day a kick start. I always believe in my school days motto and its philosophy – Play thy part. Love and compassion through art, for music and creatures, will never let anything fall apart.
Kerala mural painting
Kerala mural paintings are the frescoes depicting Hindu mythology in Kerala. Ancient temples and palaces in Kerala display an abounding tradition of mural paintings made using natural dyes and colours.
I have chosen Kerala mural art as, being a Keralite, this art is connected with my roots.
Tanjore painting is a classical south Indian painting which originated from Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. Tanjore painting are the only paintings which are embossed. The other feature is that real gold foil is used on the embossed areas – 22 carat gold foil. These Tanjore paintings evoke a sense of class and timelessness with their alluring illustrations.
My passion and love for this Tanjore painting is from my childhood days, since I saw this art in many temples. Once I got the opportunity to select this folk art style, immediately my mind went to Tanjore art and I did this painting with my fullest satisfaction.
Tholu bommalata is the shadow puppet theatre tradition of the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. Tholu bommalata literally means ‘the dance of leather puppets’ (tholu means leather and bommalata means puppet dance).
As I had no knowledge about this art form, I learnt it from scratch. The bright colours and simple drawings used here made me feel so close to nature. On the whole it was a great new experience where I learnt quite a few things.
In ancient times in Rajasthan, storytellers would travel from village to village and narrate the stories using Phads as their pictorial depiction tool. The priest singers, and dancers of Rajasthan, known as Bhopas and Bhopis, would carry the painted Phad scrolls along to use them to narrate the lores of the folk deities who are worshiped in that region. The art was painted in vegetable colours.
The rich culture and colour of Rajasthan, my home has always inspired me. Lok Kala gave me the perfect opportunity to showcase this inspiration through Phad art.
Dr Dipty Shrivastav
Rajput miniature paintings
Rajasthani miniature art forms evolved and flourished in the royal courts of Rajputana in northern India. These are delicate handmade paintings and much smaller in size than normal paintings. These paintings depict a number of themes including religious, hunting, court, nayak-nayika, music and seasons. The faces in paintings are elongated and oval, the foreheads are inclined downwards, with long and pointed noses, swollen lips and pointed chins. All the figures in the painting were seen wearing Hindu attire and were depicted as more humble creatures.
I like Rajasthani miniature art form mainly due to its bright, glowing colou
rs, rhythmic, graceful and powerful lines. My painting ‘Nayika’ depicts the beauty of Rajasthani women. It is inspired from Rajasthani miniature art form but done in my own preferred style using a palette knife.
Rogan art an ancient textile art with its origins in Persia, came to Kutch Gujarat, India around 400 years ago. It is conventional art of hand painting influenced by Persian art. In this craft, paint made from boiled oil and vegetable dyes is laid down on fabric using either a metal block (printing) or stylus (painting). The cloth that is painted on is usually in a dark colour, which makes the intense colours stand out.
I have chosen Rogan art as this is an art form that I never knew about. So I had to do a lot of research to familiarise myself. Keeping in mind the traditional style of art, I designed this artwork. When I started out, it seemed as if it was an easy art with simple patterns, but in reality, it wasn’t easy to retain the originality of the art form. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of learning a new art form and proud of the work I have created.
Warli painting is a beautiful form of folk art mostly created by the people of north Sahyadhri in Maharashtra, India. They used to paint the activities of their village on the house walls using ground rice paste. Using this as an inspiration, I have created my depiction of a village and their inhabitants using acrylic paint in Warli style.
I have chosen to paint a village because it’s natural powerful vibrant world is always my welcome place. This is the place where we can see and feel the innocent mutual caring relationship with humans and all living creatures.
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