Journey through several strokes

Tribal art

A mesmerising lacy circle draws attention, but as you walk closer, it reveals itself. It is no pretty white lace pasted on canvas; it is an intricate Warli art work depicting a fishnet on water with a diversity of aquatic life struggling around it. It is easy to spend hours in front of paintings showcased at the exhibition titled ‘Many Indias’.

The exhibition is a mix of artworks focusing on tribal art from various regions of India. Paintings depicting tribal life, religion, wildlife and social issues are a part of this exhibition along with sculptures by various artists. ‘Many Indias’ has been brought together by Tulika Kedia from Must Art Gallery and Art Historian, Alka Pande.

“The theoretical underpinnings of the writings of Ramchandra Guha, Arjun Appardurai, Dipesh Chakraborty, cultural historians like Jyotindra Jain, Sirish Rao and Gita Wolf, Ayyappa Paniker, led me to conceive the idea of Many Indias, which showcases the language of 12 different genres of folk and tribal art of the land,” Pande tells Metrolife.

Natural pigments and vegetable dyes have been used to paint many of the indigenous artworks.

Kedia shares that the indigenous art expresses a view of life which has symbiotic relationship with nature and is far removed from the structured and language. This can be easily experienced at the exhibition as the style is different and has an earthy appeal to it. The variety of birds and a majestic tiger drawn in miniature style are one of most vivid paintings bringing out this flavour. The exhibition includes art from the secluded community of Baiga of Madhya Pradesh, the indigenous tribal community of Bhil from western Deccan region and central India, Gond, Kalamkari, Kalighat Style from Kolkata, Rogan from Kutch, Saura tribe art from Odisha, Warli from coastal regions of Maharashtra and Gujarat, Patchitra from Bengal and Orissa, Picchvai art, folk visuals from Mithila like Madhubani, and Sanjhi art from Mathura.

The exhibition is on display at Visual Art Gallery, India Habitat Centre, till August 31 from 10 am to 8 pm.

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