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Rare fair

The Paramparik Karigar exhibition is not only a treasure house of ancient crafts, but an interactive forum between art lovers and craftspersons.

IT IS an exhibition of national treasures handcrafted by master craftspersons. It fills one with pride to see so many of them together with their works of art at the newly opened DBS Galleria (31-A, Cathedral Garden Road, near Palmgrove Hotel). Particularly the determination of the craftspersons trying hard to save ancient crafts like Patola weaving (only five paramaparic karigar are left) from fading into oblivion is admirable. National award winner in Patola weaving, Surendra Meher explained that he learnt it from his father and is now teaching his sons to keep this rich art alive. While Syed Shakir, the national award winner in miniature painting (1993) wants his computer engineer son to be proficient in this artform too. "I want him to be part this heritage," he says.

The exhibition has been organised by Paramparik Karigar, an association of craftspersons formed in 1982 under the patronage of Kamala Devi Chattopadhyay and Roshan Kalapesi. Each piece stands out for its workmanship and ethnic design.

National award winner, Kapil Mohanto's vegetable dyed handloom saris in off white with red temple border look stunning. Master weaver Surendra Meher's ikats are equally attractive in unusual designs and colour combinations. While Ganesh Bichaves's soft hued Maheshwaris also include beautiful cotton tissue saris embellished with Bagh block prints. The vegetable dyed Bagru block prints from Rajasthan created by Chippa Lalchand stand out for their intricate motifs and delicate workmanship. And Azlul Haque's enticing Benarasis are a reflection of the skill inherited from his father, Jafeer Ali and grandfather, Kallu Hafiz, both Padmashri awardees. Exquisite borders and `buttidhar and jhabla' work are the hallmark of his weaving. Also part of the woven tradition are M.Satyanarayan's Kalamkari creations and Warangal dhurries and Maharashtra's popular wall hangings displayed here by Mohammed Nizamuddin.

The detailing in miniature artist, Syed Shakir's works is unbelievable. He recreates both Mughal and company art. He also makes his own designs based on the Kishengarh school.

Satya Narain Dass's palm leaf paintings, especially the `Dashavatar' intricately executed in soft colours are beautiful. The colourful Patachitra wall hangings are compelling too. The Pipli patchwork creations of Orissa, crafted by Parida Bharath Bhushan have been modified to embellish lifestyle items.

For tribal art lovers, Bakshilal Sonadhar's and Phoolsingh Beshar's Dhokaware and iron sculptures would be a worthwhile buy. There are lamps, birds and animals in Lokakar, another tribal artform of Madhya Pradesh.

Also showcased at the fair are Mithila paintings of Bihar. The rare works have been created and brought to the city by artists, Karn Moti and Satyanarayan Lali. The sale also showcases Debnath Jyotish's Jamdaani works.

For genuine art-lovers there cannot be a better treat. The exhibition ends today.

PUSHPA CHARI

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