The wooden craft of Kinnal comes from the Kinnal village located 20 km from Koppal district in Karnataka.
The craft is primarily used to make religious idols and murals for temples as well as to make toys shaped like animals, fruits and vegetables.
The famous mural paintings in the Pampapateshwara Temple of Karnataka, and the intricate work on the wooden chariot at Hampi are said to be the work of the ancestors of the Kinnal artisans of today. But as of now the Kinnal painted wooden art is on path of decline due to negligence.
Kinnal is a wooden craft practiced in the Koppal district of Karnataka
In a bid to revive the rich artistic heritage of Kinnal, a project called Kinnal Revival Heritage Project has being launched. As part of it, a special exhibition on Kinnal art has been organised in the city.
The techniques used in this dying art form are similar to that of the lost crafts of Sawantwadi in Konkan.
Satavashiela Devi Bhonsle, the Rajmata of Sawantwadi (who revived the traditional art of Ganjifa card painting of Sawantwadi), has identified five artisans from Sawantwadi who are willing to learn the technique of wooden craft from Kinnal artisans.
“If you are keen to see the art form you can attend this exhibition. There will be 19 sculptures on display as well as photographs. People can also visit the workshop and learn more about it,” says project curator and artist Raju Sutar.
Says Bhonsle, “It is really sad that this art form is dying but by holding this exhibition and workshop, I hope that people learn more about it and preserve the form. It was practised by carpenters earlier but now that wood has become costly and there is a lot of hard work involved, it is dying. At the workshop, we will teach artists how to make and paint the works as the paint used in the olden days cannot be found now. We hope to revive this form of art through such sessions.”
A workshop of 20 days duration has been planned at Sawantwadi, which will start from May 15 and go on till June 3.
Sutar adds that Chandrashekhar Patil from Baroda, an expert on Sawantwadi sculpture painting will teach both Kinnal and Sawantwadi artisans, the traditional ways of painting.
Artisans practicing the craft of Kinnal
Also, a short documentary film showing the journey of Kinnal art will be screened at the event.
“There will also be a tie-up with the NGO Dastkari and they will display this art across the country through exhibition.,” states Sutar.
Sutar concludes that after the workshop, the main aim is to help the artists sell their products in the market and get a good price for the same.
From May 13 to 18, 10.30 am to 8.30 pm
At PN Gadgil and Sons, Aundh showroom.