Folk and Tribal Paintings: The Godana and Madhubani Schools

Academy of Fine Arts and Literature

Folk Paintings in India
A live tradition, vibrant and deep rooted into people’s blood, folk art reveals a massive variety of form and theme. Her ten-twelve thousand years old creative culture and a wide-spread art geography apart, India has hundreds of ethnic groups scattered from north to south and east to west, each with its own art form representing its taste, needs, aspirations, aims, joys, sorrows and struggles. Regional peculiarities, nature around and a different pattern of day-today life apart, their art reveals each group’s ethnic distinction and creative talent. Not in the ‘word’, these primitive peoples discovered in the ‘form’ their diction which gave expression to their joy, jubilation and intrinsic warmth and announced their rejection of violence, eroticism and the ugly.
In the form they discovered the ultimate means to discourse with each other and with the ‘divine’. Skill, education, or training hasn’t been their tool. Their legends, myths, or convictions weren’t born of texts or were the dictates of authority. They discovered all that their art sought to represent within them, in their blood that retained it across ages, almost as it was transfused into it, with its vigour and freshness which the murky narrow cells of authority often defiled, or at the most sought to gild. What imparts distinction to their art is their massive imagination, a passion to embellish, and an inborn ability to give to a routine form symbolic dimensions, and to things scattered around, status of art imagery – all that transformed into artists, not just individuals but communities in their entirety, generations after generations. In a world every minute seeking means to distort and destroy they have kept along their own tenor singing to their own tunes, dancing to their intrinsic rhythm and to the notes of their hearts, and discovering in the jumble of things, rough crude lines, raw colours and incoherent motifs, a world that breathed purity, harmony, respect and concern for life.

Pandeyji was commissioned by Arpana Caur to paint different forms of trees against different intensities of cow dung background. All the pieces were stitched on cloth to make a composite whole.
More Details

Pandeyji was commissioned by Arpana Caur to paint different forms of trees against different intensities of cow dung background. All the pieces were stitched on cloth to make a composite whole.
More Details

Urban image commissioned by Arpana Caur

Urban image commissioned by Arpana Caur

A tree is one of the most sacred motifs of folk art. In addition to its inherent sacredness the artist has added to the form of this tree the auspicious motif of an elephant. With trunks on both sides this elephant form is more auspicious. The tree seems to rise over the elephant. Apart, birds and devotee figures flanking around impart to it further sanctity.

Tree suffocated by traffic signal. Commissioned by Arpana Caur.

Apparently a tree with its foliage, twigs and majority of branches chopped, in it also reflects the formof a machine-gun, its apex looking like the barrel-point, circular projection below, its magazine, lower branches, its stand, and so on.

Apparently a tree with its foliage, twigs and majority of branches chopped.

Arpana requested Pandeyji to visualize a tree as a woman. Composed of a tree or a couple of them, a woman, and two mythical-looking birds, the painting displays great formal as well as thematic unity. While the woman figure seems to comprise an aspect of the tree-trunk the two birds appear to comprise its apex. The blunt top of the tree-trunk turns for the birds into their feeding vessel.

Arpana requested Pandeyji to visualize a tree as a woman. The blunt top of the tree-trunk turns for the birds into their feeding vessel.

The painting represents Lord Vishnu as Balaji, his most celebrated form in South, but it is more characteristically his Kurma – tortoise form. The green-black body texture apart, the deity’s face has been styled like one of the tortoise and as of the tortoise are his four legs stretching into four corners. It is a magnificent blend of two forms.

The painting represents Lord Vishnu as Balaji, his most celebrated form in South, but it is more characteristically his Kurma – tortoise form.

This Mayura-pata, with hundreds of identical peacocks circling around three lion-riding deities enshrining its centre, is unique in its symmetrical layout and elegant design.

This Mayura-pata, with hundreds of identical peacocks circling around three lion-riding deities enshrining its centre, is unique.

The painting seems to aim at portraying three levels of life, the deity, the devotee, and the seekers of delight. An Enlightened One – a Buddha, one beyond colours, constitutes the background for all, for the deity as also for the devotee and seekers of delight. With light transfused forms transform from a human organ into a building part and vice versa, and those bowing or prostrating in worship, or twisting in jubilation, are alike the seekers of light.

The painting seems to aim at portraying three levels of life, the deity, the devotee, and the seekers of delight. An Enlightened One – a Buddha, one beyond colours, constitutes the background for all, for the deity as also for the devotee and seekers of delight.

Except some variation in the appearance of the viper all four panels, into which the painting is divided, portray an identical theme of the fight between a viper and a dragon. Aja-i-bal Makhluqat, a Persian book of nature’s wonders, exceptionally popular in India during 18th -19th centuries, was the source of such themes.

Except some variation in the appearance of the viper all four panels, into which the painting is divided, portray an identical theme of the fight between a viper and a dragon.

The painting portrays some major acts of terror that shook the world with panic during the past decade. Two multi-storeyed red structures are towers of World Trade Centre, New York, which in a terror attack two aircrafts had destroyed killing hundreds of people working there. The circular building on the left is Indian Parliament which too was subjected to a terror attack. Around it is the aircraft which with over hundred-fifty passengers on board was hijacked to Kandhara. All around are guns, explosions, eyes full of tears and scenes of devastation, and the cruel face of terror frames it from all sides.

Two multi-storeyed red structures are towers of World Trade Centre, New York, which in a terror attack.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Translate with Google
Home
Explore
Nearby
Profile