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Monday, Mar 11, 2002

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Myriad hues of art

THE ART and artists of rural India have been brought to Chennai by the National Folklore Support Centre (NFSC) at six different galleries as part of the Folk Festival 2002, till March 13.

The paintings, many of which are generally drawn on the walls and floors of houses or as part of the oral narratives, have been done on paper for the benefit of art lovers.

Says Muthukumaraswamy, director, NFSC, "The pleasure of giving pictorial representations to oral narratives is to denude, to know, to learn the origin and end of family structures, clan and caste identities and their relationships in a social field''.

What attract attention initially in these paintings are the charming, simple forms and colours. However, a careful look would reveal more intrinsic details about the lives of the people who create them.

A golden opportunity beckons art lovers to discover the artistic traditions from remote parts of the country like Rajasthan, Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and our own Tamil Nadu. While Bastar (Chattisgarh), Pithora (Gujarat) and Warli (Maharashtra) paintings are displayed at the Alliance Francaise and Artworld, Kalamkari (Andhra Pradesh), Madhubani (Bihar), Pattachitra (Orissa) and Thanjavur paintings (Tamil Nadu) can be seen at Manasthala Foundation and Amethyst. The Kishangarh miniatures (Rajasthan) are on display at Vinayasa Art Gallery and Little India Gallery. Except Bastar and Pithora, all the other folk art forms are represented by the artists themselves.

The paintings are reasonably priced. Select works from all styles and photographs of the performing artistes and their families can also be seen at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Government Museum, along with folk music instruments.

LAKSHMI VENKATRAMAN

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