December 2013 - from Andhra Pradesh Mithila paintings from Bihar Pichhwai paintings from Rajasthan Patua paintings from Bengal Miniature paintings from Rajasthan

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  • Exhibition of art and craftDecember 2013

  • At Paramparik Karigar, it has always been our endeavour to uplift the heritage and tradition of Indian craftsmanship and to create awareness about our countrys vast expression of art forms.

    This December, for the 4th consecutive year, Paramparik Karigar will hold an exhibition that will display 13 select forms of traditional Indian art by 13 artists who are pioneers in their own genre. We aim to provide these traditional masters with a renewed platform to exhibit their work.

    The following art forms will be represented:Pattachitra from OdishaGond tribal art from Madhya PradeshKalamkari from Andhra PradeshMithila paintings from BiharPichhwai paintings from RajasthanPatua paintings from BengalMiniature paintings from RajasthanMata ni pachedi from GujaratGadwakam from ChhattisgarhBronze sculptures from KarnatakaCeramics from MaharashtraPhad paintings from RajasthanStone carving from Odisha

    Let us celebrate the diversity of our heritage and acknowledge the complexity and detail of our tradition. Let us understand that traditional art is an expression of our countrys legacy. By supporting and elevating it, we are keeping this tradition alive.

    An exhibition of select paintings and sculptures by traditional master craftspersons

    December 13 to 15, 2013 Coomaraswamy Hall, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya

    Cover image: Miniature painting by Shakir Ali

  • Anwar Chitrakar I Bengal Patua painting I Acrylic on canvas I 48 x 60

    This canvas expresses that God is one, the Omnipresent, and has come down to Earth to represent all religions equally.

    Patua PaintingWest Bengal

    The art of patua painting is an ancient cloth painting tradition of Bengal and dates back to over 5,000 years. Its style is reminiscent of Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa and the Ajanta Cave paintings. The brush used is made of bamboo stick and goat hair while colours are obtained from herbs and plants.

    The Patuas of West Bengal are traditional artists who are specialised in narrative painting. In the olden days, these painters would wander from village to village, seeking patronage by singing their own compositions while unravellling painted scrolls on sacred and secular themes.

    In West Bengal there are five folk forms of this narrative art. Scrolls are painted with natural dyes and then fixed on paper with vegetable gum. Panels are sewn together and fabric from old saris is glued to the back to strengthen the scroll. Individual paintings may resemble single panels from similar stories or images of wild animals and other scenes from the artists imagination.

    Today, scrolls by younger painters have even ventured into current affairs, history and other subjects outside of their tradition.

    Anwar Chitrakar, born in 1980, is a traditional Patua painter from Paschimbanga and has been practising the art for 20 years. He has participated in many group exhibitions in India and abroad, including the Berlin Festival in April 2012 and the Namaste India Festival in Japan in October 2012. He won the State Award (West Bengal) in 2002 and the National Award in 2006. He was commissioned by the Government of India in 2013 to make a painting of Goddess Durga for the Mumbai International Airport.

  • This is an example of stoneware clay fired at 1250 degrees Celsius. The glaze is an iron-oxide base. The marks on the texture are referred to as chattering and this is done when the article is at a raw stage.

    Abhay Pandit I Ceramics I 12 x 14 diameter


    Pottery is perhaps the oldest craft in the world.

    Traditional folk pottery has always been a part of Indian life and ceremonies. From prehistoric times, there has been an abundance of beautifully fashioned utilitarian pottery. It is generally classified as earthenware, stoneware and porcelain, according to the firing temperatures and the clay used. Different varieties of pottery like red, black, buff and grey are often painted with black and white pigments or decorated with geometrical incisions. Domestic pottery comes in a bewildering profusion of shapes and sizes.

    The process involves modelling, shaping of clay, drying and firing. Clay can be categorised as primary clay, which includes china clay and bentonite, and secondary clay which includes common clay, red clay, ball clay and fire clay. The potter throws the painstakingly kneaded clay on to the centre of the wheel, rounds it off, and then spins the wheel around with a stick. As the whirling gathers momentum, he begins to shape the clay into the required form. When finished, he skillfully severs the shaped bit from the rest of the clay with a string. Though the firing is done in an improvised kiln, the quality and beauty of the product does not get affected. Finally, intricate glaze is made from a mixed composition, fired to form a vitreous material, and then coloured by different mineral substances.

    Abhay Pandit trained in the art of working with ceramics under the tutelage of his father Bramhadeo Ram Pandit, a founding member of Paramparik Karigar, who received the Shilp Guru Award in 2008 and the Padma Shri in 2013. He holds a degree in ceramics from the J. J. School of Art. He trained under Ray Mecker in Pondicherry and has created textures with wire art techniques and tools. In 2009, He studied Raku smoke pottery with David Roberts in Holmfirth, U.K. He received the Charles Wallace India Trust Award from the British Council in 2005 to study pottery in U.K. In 2013, he undertook a residency at the Fuping Pottery Art village in China.

  • Dilip Maharana I Pattachitra I Vegetable dyes on patta I 5 ft x 3 ft

    The painting depicts Radha and Krishna visiting the famous Jagannath temple during the holy month of Shraavan with a glimpse of those who have come to seek their blessing. The pandits on either side are

    showing their reverence by swinging the Lord.


    The folk paintings of Odisha have flourished around the religious centres of Puri, Konark and Bhubaneswar. Pattachitra resembles the old murals of that region, dating back to the 5th century B.C. Notable work is found in and around Puri, especially in the village of Raghurajpur.

    The chitrakars or artisans delicately paint on cotton canvas or patta. They prepare a surface that looks like cartridge paper, using layers of old dhoti cloth by sticking them together with a mixture of chalk and tamarind seed gum, which gives the surface a smooth, leathery finish, especially after it is rubbed with a conch shell. The theme is sketched with a pencil and then outlined with a fine brush using vivid earth and stone colours obtained from natural sources, like white pigment from conch shells; yellow from orpiment; red from cinnabar; and black from lamp soot. After completion, the painting is held over red hot charcoal, and a mixture of lac and resin powder is sprinkled over the surface. When this melts, it is gently rubbed over the entire surface.

    The artist divides the patta into a row full of squares with the high point of the story being depicted in the large centre square with other events shown in the surrounding squares.

    Themes usually depict the Jagannath temple with its three deitiesLord Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadraand the famous Rath Yatra festival. Originally, these paintings were substitutes for worship on days when temple doors were shut for the ritual bath of the deity. Many pattachitra paintings are inspired from ancient texts on Vishnu and Krishna.

    Dillip Maharana specialises in painting on patta. He works with his brother Pramod Maharana, mother Pramila and wife Madhuchanda. He has been invited multiple times by the Crafts Museum, New Delhi, for the display and sale of pattachitra. In 1995, he participated in the Ganjifa workshop, organised by the Chitrakala Parishath and since the last 15 years, the Crafts Council of Karnataka has been inviting him to the same venue for conducting workshops.

  • KalamkariAndhra Pradesh

    Kalamkari is the art of painting on cloth and derives its name from the word kalam, meaning pen or brush and kari meaning art. It evolved with the patronage of the Mughals and the Golkonda Sultanate in Andhra Pradesh and was once called Vrathapani. It has two distinct stylesthe Machilipatnam style and the Srikalahasti style.

    Traditionally, the craftspersons of the Srikalahasti school painted stories and scenes derived from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata as well as themes from the environment like the Tree of Life. Kalamkari paintings were also used to decorate temple chariots used in religious processions. The designs usually have a main central panel surrounded by smaller blocks arranged in rows which depict the major scenes from a legend. They may also have verses from original texts written in black ink beneath the rows.

    The cloth to be painted is dipped in a mixture of milk and harda and dried in the sun. The design is outlined on the cloth with a bamboo sliver using kasimi, a black dye made from iron filings and jaggery. The interior of the design is then painted with various natural dyes one after another, each involving a laborious process of application and washing. The red colour is obtained by painting the highlight of the design with alum, washing it in running water and finally, by dipping it in a dye of madder.

    Gurappa Chetty comes from a family of traditional kalamkari artists. The work of his grandfather, Jonnalagadda Gurappa, is at the Victoria and Albert Museum, U.K., and his father Jonnalagadda Lakshmaiahs work is at the Sydney Museum in Australia. Guruppa Chetty won the National Award in 1976; the Shilp Guru Award in 2002; and the Padma Shri in 2008. He is a founding member of Paramparik Karigar.

    J. Niranjan, Gurappa C