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Three Traditional Art Forms Dominated the Year end

Three Traditional Art Forms Dominated the Year end

Artist with Muzaffar Ali and Pragati Agarwal
Arnab Banerjee of Art Tree
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Delhi experienced a 10-day exhibition titled Ekayan – Ek Sutra by Art Tree featuring National Award-winning artists Manisha Jha (Madhubani); Prakash Joshi (Phad) and J.Niranjan (Kalamkari/Chintz) at the end of 2021 united the three art forms together

Art may be a diverse range of human activity involving creative or imaginative talent expressive of technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas. But the fact that art gives meaning to our lives and helps us understand our world is an agreed upon definition worldwide.

A 10-day exhibition titled Ekayan – Ek Sutra by Art Tree featured National Award-winning artists Manisha Jha (Madhubani); Prakash Joshi (Phad) and J.Niranjan (Kalamkari/Chintz) at Bikaner House, New Delhi from 22nd December – 30th December 2021. On one of the days, i.e. 24th December, 2021, a book launch of Madhushravani by Ms Manisha Jha was another highlight of the event, besides a panel discussion on The Legacy and Revival of Chintz with artist J.Niranjan and politician and Indian handicrafts curator Jaya Jaitly.

Artist, filmmaker, designer, poet Muzaffar Ali sharing his thoughts with the crowd
Artist, filmmaker, designer, poet Muzaffar Ali sharing his thoughts with the crowd

Artist, filmmaker, designer, poet Muzaffar Ali who inaugurated the show launched Ms Jha’s book and said. “I have so much to learn from such painstakingly done great works displayed here at the exhibition.” He spent all his time understanding the intricacies of the miniature works of Prakash Joshi’s series – Ganesh Chalisa, Hanuman Chalisa or the BalKaand; Manisha Jha’s Jackfruit Tree & Ardhnarishwar as well as the Jackfruit Tree and Pink Elephant Family on acrylic on canvas. He also studied carefully J Niranjan’s works – Tree of Life on wax resist dye on cloth in kalamkari and Krishna and Godaveri. “It’s wonderful to see our heritage being preserved the way it is by these great artists”.

Pragati Agarwal of Art Tree
Pragati Agarwal of Art Tree

Founder- Art Tree and curator of the show Pragati Agarwal beamed with joy at the excellent response to her efforts of six months. “As an essential part of our culture allows us to have a deeper understanding of our emotions, and increases our self-awareness, and allows us to be open to new ideas and experiences. My ongoing research on the traditional arts of India zeroed in some rare forms of different states of India that don’t get represented in Northern part of our country well. Being culturally diverse and distinct, Indian traditional art forms have evolved over the years, and have remained untouched by modernisation. And that’s precisely what I wanted to let the young in particular, get exposed to in this exhibition displaying works of Chintz & Kalamkari, Phad and Madhubani.”

The response to all the hard work turned out to be very encouraging though due to the yellow alert imposed in the city because of the Omicron virus cases spiking up led to the closure of the event  two days earlier unceremoniously. Nevertheless, the efforts of Art Tree, as always, were supported and encouraged by the cognoscenti who came in droves for the sustenance of some of these enriching traditional forms that will eventually get revived and lead to their resurgence.

Artist Prakash Joshi with his wall of Phad Paintings
Artist Prakash Joshi with his wall of Phad Paintings

Elated by the reaction of some of Delhi’s art lovers, Prakash Joshi said, “I am trying to reach out to the smallest corner of every home with my Phad miniatures. A path- breaking concept, Ekayan –Ek Sutra, will help me with me aim to popularise my art form to the right audience.”

Artist Manisha Jha with her Madhubani Paintings
Artist Manisha Jha with her Madhubani Paintings

Manisha Jha who has been consistently working and organising workshops of Madhubani, explained the sudden interest in our folk arts. “What unites the various different forms of art is the generally agreed definition of what constitutes art, and ideas have changed over time. There may be countless forms of art, and in visual arts, all three – be it decorative, commercial, and fine art – cover broader definition of “the arts” from painting through theatre, music, architecture, and more. But as the land with some of the richest old and traditional art forms, it is India’s extremely splendidly ornate over 50 traditional folk and tribal artshave been passed down from generation to generation for more than 3000 years. This art generally reflects the creative energy found in rural areas that acts as an undercurrent to the craftsmanship of the tribal and local people. We cannot afford to let it get hijacked by others.“We need to enhance and keep alive the rich folk art traditions by creating awareness and finest art-works for economic sustenance of women artists from Mithila. Ekayan – Ek Sutra gives me an opportunity to exhibit with two other National award winning artists and to showcase our heritage.”

Artist Niranjan said, “I believe Kalamkari is more than an art form. It is a way of life seamlessly integrating existences. My father Guruappa Chetty worked on reviving Chintz – a forgotten art form; and I am working on his legacy to take this forward. Ekayan-Ek Sutra is the right platform to show and educate people about this newly revived art form”.

 

 

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