Millennium Post

Getting folksy in Delhi

Getting folksy in Delhi
Traditions have a way of conveying to us things of the past and leaves us with an impression of the rich inheritance of our ancestors. Keeping the tradition alive, a recent exhibition at Lado Sarai brought Maharashtra's Pinguli Chitragathi and traditional folk art from Rajasthan to the capital.

Pinguli Chitragathi is a form of art practised by the  Thakar Adivasi community of Maharashtra since mid 18th century. This art was originally created in the small and inconspicuous village of Pinguli, near Kudal in Maharashtra.

Chitragathi paintings are usually done on paper and depict various scenes and stories from the epics and mythological stories. In practice, these paintings are accompanied by vivid narratives by the
who  recreates the drama of the epic moment. Sometimes the drama is backed by other vocalists and also musicians.

The tradition of the Chitragathi art is handed down to the younger generations, verbally and informally. History has it that the nomadic puppeteers used to received  patronage from Raja Khemsawant Bhosale of the state of Sawantwadi. These nomads used their artistic skills to bring to life legendary myths and anecdotes, as they travelled from village to village down the Konkan coast till they reached Karwar, now in Karnataka.

As the patronage for folk art dwindled over the years, the local artists mostly gave up on it. However, there still remains a few who practice the art form, keeping the heritage alive.

Folk paintings from Rajasthan were also part of the exhibition. These explored themes from epics like Rasidapriya, Surasagara, The Ramayana and the heroic Rajput tales. This folk art flourished in Udaipur in the 16 century, under the Mewar School of Painting. It concentrated on the conservative Rajasthani style — avoiding the influence of the Mughal art. It also has certain similarities with the Chaurapanchasika style, especially the flames and the motifs in the paintings.

‘The paintings reverberate the celebration of victory of good over the evil. This theme comes naturally from the epics,’ said Meena Varma, Director, Arts of the Earth.

The Pinguli Chitragathis are priced between Rs 15,000-25,000, while the Rajasthani folk paintings come for anything between Rs 25000 to Rs 35000.

‘Since we have got good response from people, we are extending the exhibition,’ added Varma.

Go take a look.


At: Arts of the Earth Gallery, F-213 (1st Floor), Lado Sarai  
On Till: 28 July, 11am – 7pm
Phone: 47543652
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