Saturday, December 13, 2014

Gond Art

Gond art is a tribal art named after the largest tribe of central India. The art was nearly lost during Mughal era and British rule, thereafter. It started making a comeback in 1980s after Jagdish Swaminathan, the former head of Bharat Bhavan, discovered Jangarh Singh Shyam, a gond artist whose experimental work earned him international recognition. 
Following are the salient features of Gond Art:
1. Inspiration behind this art is almost always nature and social customs.
2. It is represented through a repetitive patterning of dots, dashes, ovals, fishscales, among others. Each artist uses this patterning to create his/her own 'signature' style. The nuances of the Gond art, though, don't start and end with the patterning.
3. The art is visible in two forms: colour and black-white.
4. As seen in other tribal art forms, it is primitive art and its visuals depict engrossing folk stories and legends.
5. Its most popular theme - digna - is painted on houses during weddings and other festive occasions.
6. The art can now also be spotted on pen stands, mousepads, tees, keychains, etc.
Some experts attribute the art's revival to its evolution. While motifs such as imaginary animals and nature still dominate the Gond world, there are artists who are providing a new twist. 
Slowly but surely, Gond art is assimilating the contemporary.

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