Exhibition celebrates legacy of traditional folk art

Friday, Dec 2, 2016,16:54 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | With an aim to promote indigenous art forms, a two-day exhibition here features works of well-known traditional artists from different parts of India.

Titled, ‘Traditional and Folk Art (TAFA)’, the exhibition features paintings by Mithila artist Manisha Jha, Kerala Mural artist Jijulal V M, Prakash Joshi from Rajasthan among others.

The exhibition provides a visual treat to art connoisseurs with ‘Mata ni Pachedis’ from Gujarat, ‘Kalighat’ paintings from West Bengal and ‘Kalamkari’ from Andhra Pradesh.

Madhya Pradesh’s Gond works hang besides striking ‘Chola’ bronzes from Tamil Nadu and ‘phad’ and ‘pichwai’ from Rajasthan.

Mithila artist Manisha Jha’s exquisite collection is based on ‘nature’ and ‘deities’. For Jha, the special thing about such a form of art is that it is not bound by any ‘rules and regulations’.

“It is one of the only art forms which are practiced and preserved by women. I am the third generation of my family and my inspiration comes from my grandmother and mother. They used to decorate the house with these paintings.

“This is a unique form of folk art where the artist is not restricted by any particular rule or regulation,” Jha says.

Her paintings — “Tree of Life” and “Krishna”, represent all the three forms of paintings done by Brahmins, Kayastha and Dusadh.

“Brahmins used pink, yellows and other bright colours while line paintings used by Kayasths were monochromes which were in black and red, ones sees reflection of all that in my paintings here.

“I focus on scales and detailing which is very important aspect of the art. ‘Line’ technique in the paintings is reflection of the detailed artistic work which the painter uses,” Jha says.

The architect-turned-artist, who has been exhibiting Mithila paintings for 19 years, says Sita Devi and Godavari Das brought popularity to the form.

“It has come a long way with the efforts of empowered women like Sita Devi, Godavari Das, Yamuna Devi. Their works have popularised the paintings beyond India.

The exhibition seeks to promote artists who have been practicing folk art forms for generations but haven’t got the right platform to display their works.

Prakash Joshi’s traditional ‘Phad’ paintings depict scenes from mythology and nature.
Joshi belongs to a family which has been practicing the folk art for almost 300 years.

“The outlines in Phad paintings are first drawn in blocks and later filled with colours. My paintings depict various folklores while addressing pressing issues like saving the environment.

“The use of vibrant colours create a subtle impression on cloth which is unique in comparison to any other form of art,” Jha says.

The exhibition which is underway at Hungarian Information and Cultural Centre is on view till December 3.