Chitrakala Parishat has transformed into a cultural and colourful hub, thanks to the ‘Orissa Grameen Mela’ that is being held here. Around 150 craftsmen and artists from various parts of the country have taken part in the exhibition this year and more than 110 stalls have been set up. The exhibition was inaugurated by actress Sanjjanaa and will go on till December 29.
Though the focus of the exhibition is art from Orissa and West Bengal, artistes from other states like Manipur, Gujarat, Rajastahan, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are also exhibiting their handicraft and products.
Manas Acharya, the organiser, says they are planning to promote small artisans from various parts of the country through this exhibition. “Most of these artisans belong to tribal areas and small towns and the exhibition gives them a platform to showcase their art in a big city. We have brought many artistes from Orissa as they incurred a heavy loss due to the cyclone. There are 60 new artisans who have participated in the exhibition this year,” he informs.
Chanchal Sharma and Bijoy Mala have come all the way from Manipur and are selling products from the ‘Seven Sisters’. “We have got cane baskets, trays, mugs and lamps along with products made out of kouna grass. Many hotels and restaurants purchase our lamps on a regular basis. We have always got a great response from the people of Bangalore and are hoping that more visitors come this year,” says Chanchal.
Muslim Chitrakar and his wife are a storehouse of talent. The two are patachitra artistes from Midnapore and are participating in a Bangalore-based exhibition for the first time.
“Along with paintings in various sizes, we also have T-shirts, lamps and handmade fans to name a few. We work around different themes based on folk tales. We have been painting for generations and all the colours that we use are made by us,” he explains.
Kamlesh is aware of the market in Bangalore and keeping her fingers crossed. “Bangaloreans are quite fond of handicraft and like every year, I have brought chikankarai kurtas, dress materials and saris,” she informs.
Other artisans like Sukhdev Samanta, an artist from West Bengal, are displaying a variety of mats, curtains, table mats etc made out of local grass.
Kashmiri artists are exhibiting hand embroidered kurtas, Pashmina shawls and jute silks from Ladakh at the mela.