Gond artists recognized – Where art imitates life

Gond tribal painting is an integral part of tribal festivities, rituals, and day-to-day living

When one lives amidst nature, one’s life is the life of nature, one’s thoughts are the thoughts of the birds, deer and the rivers and one’s expressions are full of nature’s form and gestures.

The exhibition of Gond tribal paintings from June 5 to 15 [2009], at the Kerala Lalit Kala Akademi, Thrissur, was a portrayal of a life and culture so much in sync with nature that it cannot be expressed without it. The Gonds are tribals hailing from Madhya Pradesh. Their paintings are indeed the reflection of a culture where life and spirituality were integrated with the forest and its creatures.

Originally done witfour-coloured mud found in the forest, the Gond tribal paintings were drawn on the walls of the houses and were an integral part of the tribal festivity, rituals, and day-to-day living.

Gond tribal women would go to the forest to collect these colours. “We used to go in groups and it would take us the whole day to collect the mud and return to the village,” said Nankushiya, a tribal woman painter participating in the workshop.

Gonds believe that Narmada was once a woman and was married to the Sonmura river.  […]

Now the painters have started drawing on canvas with acrylic. […]

Today, Gonds are fast catching up with city life, and modern-day amenities, but most of their rituals remain the same. As Japani said, “Thoughts have changed and so also the lifestyle. Houses are fast changing into concrete ones. However, the tradition of painting on the walls is still there.” The young artist further made a point, “We exhibit our paintings at many places around the country. People often tell us to take up modern art but we want to stick to our tribal painting style and the depiction of our culture and nature through it. We also would like to give our perspective of the outside world through our art.” […]

Today Japani’s and Nankushiya’s paintings depicting the Gond life with its festivity, forests and traditions are displayed in many of our urban living rooms, reminding us of the many things we have lost in the process of gaining affluence. […]

Source: Rituals – Where art imitates life by Venus Vinod Upadhayaya lifepositive.com
Address : http://www.lifepositive.com/Spirit/Rituals/Where_art_imitates_life82009.asp
Date Visited: Sun Aug 28 2011 17:25:30 GMT+0200 (CEST)

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