Rare and unseen folk art from different corners of the country pay tribute to Mother Nature in a show titled ‘Prakriti: The Creative Feminine’, presented by Tulika Kedia, Founder and Director of Must Art Gallery and curated by Dr Alka Pande from 8th - 12 March 2017 at Visual Art Gallery, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.
'Prakriti: The Creative Feminine' is a tribute to Mother Nature through traditional form of art works from around the country, with age old techniques that have been passed from generation to generation. Tulika Kedia has been a fan and admirer of folk art and believes that they are the hidden treasures of Indian art.
In this exhibition, she has found and carefully chosen 158 works of around 80 folk artists from across the country whose works have an element of nature—scenes from the village, murals or even contemporary interpretations.
She wishes to create a visual feast that will make you nostalgic about a simpler Indian life and remind you that folk art is capable of adapting to contemporary styles, with ‘Prakriti: The Creative Feminine’.
The show is divided into four sections-- the Divine Feminine, in which there are captivating paintings related to Gods and Goddesses; One World, Many Incarnations where the folk art has space to be interpreted differently by the viewers; Contemporary Expressions in the Vernacular where artists have interpreted more recent societal happenings such as the tsunami or the Gond artist’s painting of the Smoking Taj inspired by the Mumbai attacks in haunting yet mesmerising colours and the last one is called The Other Gaze in which artists explore an interesting offbeat theme.
In the works of Gond artists such as Manoj Godpal and Subhash Vyam from central India, you can see animals, trees, aquatic life, local festivals like Karwa Chauth, Deepawali, and Ahoi Ashtami, and objects of daily life—rendered in bright, multi-coloured hues of life. Jogi art, pioneered by Ganesh Jogi and his wife Teju Jogi from Chittorgarh, Rajsthan has grown to include village life, birds and animals in a contemporary style.
Now, it is practiced by the younger descendants like Soni Jogi and Raju Jogi who have created their own styles. The Madhubani, Kalighat and Patachitra art from rural Bengal also hold nature as the supreme inspiration.
Tulika Kedia conceived the idea of Must Art Gallery, a gallery that is dedicated to traditional art practices, on her numerous travels to Madhya Pradesh and has been holding exhibitions to promote and spread awareness about indigenous art and the folk artists of our country since them.
She says, “In the last couple of decades, as I began collecting Indian art, little did I realise that I was developing a passion that would ultimately consume me completely. Our indigenous art forms have myriad tales to tell, their colours evoke multiple emotions and their diversity is absolutely breath-taking.”
Madhubani artist Baua Devi says, “The exhibitions and articles on art gives us an opportunity to be better known and get recognized in other countries like Japan, France, Spain. Even the middle class people appreciate the work I do, In India the art circle is restricted but if these kind of events are on regular basis things would change for the better in the future for artists like us.”
The mystical designs of Tanjore, the nineteenth century Kalighat art of Calcutta and the age old mythical Patachitra paintings from rural Bengal to the Bhil art of house painting and the mural like paintings of Warli from Maharashtra among others are a part of the collection that will be displayed in the show.
Says Curator Alka Pande, “The art exhibition dedicated to prakriti unanimously leads to artist’s imagination which is replete with the creative quotient. Mother Nature is worshiped by all cultures in some form or another. The trees bear fruit and the fruit celebrates the alignment of all three, i.e. roots, trunk, branches.
The concept of a ‘Tree’, which has been embodied with relevance and reverence in several world religions and cultures, be it ancient civilizations, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism or even indigenous cultures.
Within the Indian concept, from the metaphor of vriksha or tree, the Indian artists, especially based in indigenous artists’ community, have conceived of concepts of Tree of Ethics, The Tree of Wisdom and The Circle of Love.”About Must Art Gallery and Tulika Kedia
Neatly tucked away in the art district of Delhi, Must Art Gallery is a remarkable phenomenon in itself. As an art gallery dedicated solely to the art of the Gond people of central India, it has carved out a niche in something that had formerly been the preserve of museums.
The gallery promotes traditional art practices and has an extensive collection of Gond Art—an art form that is much acclaimed and exhibited across the world for its vibrant and compelling patterns but also its spectacular imagery. Infused with a rich cultural intensity, Gond images are products of a fertile imagination, at one with nature, and are, in fact, works of modern contemporary art rather than some antiquated tradition. These fantastic pictorial narratives, however, continue the ancient form of story-telling, albeit in a new form, as animated imagery, which is essentially modern in style but resonant with a culturally-distinct ethos.
Tulika Kedia is the founder and director of the Must Art gallery, phenomenal for its commitment to promote Gond Art, while encouraging and supporting the artists by providing a sustainable platform for them.
Belonging to a traditional Marwari family, Kedia grew up in Kolkata, one of India’s culturally rich cities, in terms of literature, music, and art, which became her veritable way of life. Painting, sculpture and beautiful objets d’art were an important part of her immediate lifestyle and formative influences that would draw her towards the playful intensity of Gond art and impel her to support the artists in some way or the other.
What: Tulika Kedia of Must Art Gallery presents ‘Prakriti: The Creative Feminine’, a rare Exhibition of folk art to celebrate women - An ode to Mother Nature , curated by Dr Alka PandeWhere:
Visual Art Gallery, India Habitat Centre, Lodi RoadWhen:
8th - 12th March 2017Timings:
11:00 am - 7:00 pm