Unique art on display at rural fair

Jamshedpur, March 27: From a distance they look like any other wall hanging, but a closer look reveals that Manoj His works are a bit different. Prasad’s paintings are made using colours derived from stones, shells and kajal.

Brought to the city by Kalaniketan, an NGO from Bhubaneswar, Orissa, Prasad and his family specialises in painting on tussar silk with colours derived from stone and shell.

Prasad and many other unique artists like him are in the steel city to participate in the 16th Gram Shree Mela that began at Gopal Maidan in Bistupur today.

Artists from around 25 states are participating in the fair organised by Tribal Cultural Society in association with Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology.

Talking about his unique art, Prasad said: “I use the special colour derived from rubbing coloured stones together for hours. We get the white colour by rubbing seashells and kajal is used for outlining. The coloured stones are brought from Rajasthan to give it a distinct look,” he added.

Right next to the pile of tussar paintings, there are the framed items that though looks a little like Madhubani art. But these are again special paintings called “structured” art made by using henna cones.

Sharing space with these modernistic takes on art are the more traditional leaf paintings of Orissa.

Each delicate drawing made on palm leaf tells a tale from popular Indian myths and lore and is exquisitely drawn with black ink — staggering in their details.

For those whose taste veers around metal work there is Prabir Kumar Paul, a Bengal artisan, who has also won a state award for his metal emboss work. In the fair his work seemed just as appreciated as people thronged his stall to catch a glimpse of the artist at work.

“My work is tricky. First I have to make the required design on the metal and then keep hitting it from one side so that the design pops out on the other, giving it its characteristic embossed look,” said Paul.

Apart from the Orissa and Bengal artists, artisans from Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh are also showcasing their work in the fair.

The Gwandi Vithi Chitra art form of Madhya Pradesh is being showcased for the first time in the fair.

As a tribal artisan explained, this art form is an ancient one used by rural residents to beautify their mud huts.

Mainly tribals residing in and around Bastar use the art form to document their rustic tales in colours of the earth.

This was the first time that these paintings were showcased in Jamshedpur.

Stalls have also been put up by NGOs in the city and self-help groups from the state as well as outside.

The fair would conclude on April 5.

Source: Telegraphindia

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