Banking on art

Isn’t it sounds bit abnormal. However, the Mangalore branch of State Bank of India has proved that art gallery can become part and parcel of a bank.

A peek inside the bank provides a glimpse of paintings, Kinnal handicrafts and soothes the mind of the customers who visit the branch for money transactions.
In fact, this particular branch of the State Bank of India has become a landmark and the bus stand itself is named after it. At present, the bank art gallery and the walls of the bank adorn the Kinnal art.

Mahalasa School of Art had organised a workshop on Kinnal art form for students. The Kinnal art which originally belonged to a village by name Kinnal was given top priority by the Vijayanagar Kings. There are few craftspersons who practice this craft now.

Hereditary artisans are called chitragaras. The art of Kinnala painted woodenware dates to Vijayanagar empire and flourished due to the patronage of Vijayanagar rulers in whose reign the arts had reached their zenith. After the fall of Vijayanagar Empire, the artisans lost their patronage and moved away from Hampi to Kinnal in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. With declining royal patronage, the craft showed serious signs of deterioration. About 28 students who took part in the workshop had come out with Kinnal handicrafts which finds its place in the Art gallery of the SBI.

Kinnal art is known for its typical style. In fact, Kinnal wall hangings and showpieces are most sought after by art lovers. As the artists bend over diligently giving shape to their imagination, logs of wood just spring to life.

The 28 students have carved images of Gods and Goddesses. Neem, mango, teak woods are normally used by the artisans for the handicrafts.

The colour blended with tin liquid lasts for a longer time which is used for painting all the arts manufactured by Kinnal artisans.

Using natural colour, Kinnal art is known for its intricate carvings. Colourful circles, rectangles and triangles are filled with beautiful pictures. Famous poet Amir Khsuro had played a vital role in reaching out this art to the commonman. Kinnal art are mostly found in temples, Jain Basadis in North Karnataka.

Speaking to City Herald, branch AGM C M Tallur said “the art gallery will provide a platform for the artists to exhibit their talents. After looking at the Kinnal handicrafts exhibited in the walls and the art gallery of the bank, many have come forward to exhibit their talents here. Many customers had come to me and said that their children are good at drawing and want a platform to exhibit their talent.”

“Moreover, when a customer visits the bank, it should give him a relaxing feeling. The beautiful images please the eyes, he said and added “for one month, the kinnal art will be displayed in the art gallery, bank walls, locker room, waiting lounge and NRI cell.”
As one enters the four ATMs which is adjacent to the bank, one can find photos of beach, Kambala, car festical, bhootha kola adorning the walls. “It is an attempt to showcase the traditional art forms to the customers. Bank is not restricted to banking activtites alone. One should think out of box. Customer should feel relaxed when he enters the bank,” the AGM said.

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