Sunday, 9 February 2014

A look at some fascinating Gond Art

When an artist friend called and said I had to go and take a look at the work of some Gond Tribal artists who were in Poona and were leaving in a few friend Laxmi and I hurriedly finished playing the last hole, skipped breakfast and drove straight to the IISER ( Indian Institute of Science Education and Research ) campus.
What a place that is !! We've driven past the gates ever so often but never bothered to look inside. Its 100 acres of land, some of which has modern buildings already there and still more construction activity happening. The fortunate ones get to study and work in this environment...hopefully we'll get a few great scientists emerging from there one day.

But we were not looking for scientists, we were looking for Subhash Vyam and his wife Durgabai...

We found them and discovered a whole new world of art ! They told us the stories behind their paintings..stories that had travelled down generations through their art since they had no written language for centuries.
All the paintings depicted a facet of their lives....bringing down honey from a hive high up in the trees, or picking fruit or more exciting ones of tigers. I wish I'd taken a good camera with me and had the time to record both picture and the tale behind it.

A close up of a bird watching the action

There was an interesting painting of a  bird with what looked like a mobile phone in its belly. This was painted by their son , Manna Sing, who is studying engineering.

Manna Sing was trying to convey the idea that a phone carries messages to your loved ones like the bird carried them: wirelessly.

Then there was this one of Dharti Mata or Earth Goddess whose arms had grown into wings so she could carry the earth and its people away to the heavens above

But my favourite was this huge canvas
Ignore the coloured bedspread in the bottom half !

Here's a close up.........

By the time we got to this painting, I was so overwhelmed with all the gorgeous colour that I forgot to ask the story !! All I know is the deer's antlers have turned into trees...Why ?? I'll have to wait to find out.