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Art in an auspicious time

India’s traditional art forms have their own lexicon of symbols associated with harvest and prosperity. So, with festivals like Durga Puja and Diwali around the corner, all of which lay emphasis on Shubh-Labh (Auspiciousness-Prosperity) motifs, it’s perfect timing to drop by at Jamaat which features traditional artworks.

On display will be paintings and sculptures by masters including VRS Shyam (Gond), Pranab Das (Pattachitra), Kalyan Joshi (Phad) and Suresh Waghmare (Gadhwakam).


Screen with lamps made from scrap iron; Lohakam by Sonadhar Vishwakarma from Chattisgarh

Anu Chowdhury Sorabjee has curated the exhibition. Speaking about the exhibition, Sorabjee says, “Blessings for auspiciousness and prosperity form a key motive in traditional Indian folk and tribal art forms. Indian traditional art forms have always dealt with elevating the viewer from a spectator to someone who seeks the higher aspect in life, divine intervention or blessings for a better, more prosperous life.”

She adds that the concept of bringing auspiciousness into one’s daily lives through prayer, fasting, meditation or pooja are interpreted in different ways by different art forms from all over the country.

The highlight of the exhibition are the Orissa Pattachitra works painted on silk by Pranab Das, the interpretations of the Hanuman Chalisa by Phad painter Kalyan Joshi and bronze lamps made by the lost wax process by Suresh Waghmare (from Chattisgarh). These artists are either masters in their art or have been National Award winners who have been handed down their tradition over several generations and continue to practice their art despite the odds.

“We have a huge wealth of traditional art, which is still being created by traditional artists. It’s time to create awareness about these intricate art forms, which are part of our country’s heritage and legacy. These artists need a platform to present their works,” states Sorabjee. The art forms on display are mostly traditional though a few artists have interpreted and used contemporary motifs, techniques and materials.

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