Murals from the heart of India

Updated: Apr 16, 2019, 10:44 IST | Snigdha Hasan

A workshop by a master artist will introduce you to the tradition of Bheenti Chitra

Murals from the heart of India

Before adorning one's house became about choosing "mera wala blue" from the shade card, there were the myriad art and craft traditions in India where members of the household — women in particular — would use everyday materials to decorate compound walls to mark a special occasion like marriage, and festivals. Sanja paintings in the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh are made after Ganesh Visarjan for a folk festival, for instance, while the neighbouring Chhattisgarh has its own tradition of Bheenti Chitra.

These aesthetic practices, however, are getting relegated to memory, and before they are spoken about in the past tense, Mumbaikars have a chance to learn the basics of Bheenti Chitra at a workshop this weekend. The two-day session will be conducted by artist Champabai Chitrakar, who has to her credit the stunning latticework with 3-D figurines on the walls of the Madhya Pradesh Tribal Museum in Bhopal.

Champabai Chitrakar
Champabai Chitrakar

"We work with artisans from across India, with an aim to bring back our lost arts. Bheenti Chitra is a form of mud craft made using natural materials including Multani mitti, tamarind paste and wheat husk. Champabaiji will teach participants how to create jaali work using bamboo, and making small figurines out of sticks and jute thread that the latticework is then adorned with," informs Ritika Jhunjhunwala, founder, Iteeha, which is organising the workshop. A part of Gond art, the murals can be made in other styles. But it all stems from the post-harvest tradition of decorating newly white-washed houses, as if readying them to embrace the prosperity the newly sown crops would bring.

On April 20 and 21, 12.30 pm to 4 pm
At Iteeha Studio, Mathuradas Mill Compound, Lower Parel.
Call 7506122332
Cost Rs 4,000

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