The Lost Soul…

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If you read any article, book, description, etc. about India as a country, I can bet you will find a section that stresses on the fact as to how culturally rich we are in handicrafts and what a pool of talent we have in the form of skilled artisans. I am also pretty sure that all of us have been exposed to multiple art forms in our life, depending on where we live, our travels, the people we have been exposed to and other factors. Some of us got really influenced and became art lovers, hoarders, collectors and made various art forms a crucial part of our homes, of our life.

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We recently had a similar experience where we started appreciating the real value of art… Art that we have forever loved… The very same that got lost among all the glitz and glamour of the modern westernized world. We went on a field trip looking for fresh inspiration. And what can inspire better than art. Art that has history, a story to tell. While on the lookout for such an inspiration, it hit us… The real value of art is not in that particular art piece, but, in it’s creator. A person who dedicated half their life learning the skills to develop a master piece and then devoting the rest in trying to create art that appeals to the masses all so he can earn his bread and butter! Is that all that his talent is worth?

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Why is it that we are willing to spend millions on a designer wardrobe or a luxury car but we stand to negotiate the price with the small scale artisans who have actually created a work of art that has the potential to be a heirloom one day. These artworks and handicrafts represent so much… They represent talent, skills, history of an entire era… They are the souls of a time that has gone by.

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The artists that exist today are descendants of similar great artisans. They go from generation to generation passing down what they know to their kids… All of this to keep the culture, the heritage of this country alive. Without them, what do we really have to show for?! Hence, we took it upon us to make as many people aware about the situation and write about it. It is something that not only needs our attention but our little efforts to make sure these amazing talents don’t get lost due to the lack of encouragement, appreciation and acknowledgement on our part!

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The one art form that we came real close to and that inspired us was the Pattachitra paintings. So, here we are talking about the art form in itself and some of the paintings that we acquired and studied closely…

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The Pattachitra art originated in Odisha around 5th Century BC. Pattachitra paintings find expression in many ways and they are also the only paintings that replace the idols of Gods and are regarded with the same reverence. Such paintings are made by traditional Chitrakaras of Orissa, who are experts in the art of Pattachitra. Chitrakaras today send their children out for exposure and education apart from training them in their family art tradition to ensure that they can run their own business rather than depending on middlemen. Women have also taken up full time painting. Many young girls and women are now under training with a considerable number coming from outside the village as well.

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-This particular painting goes by the name Ram Darbar. In the circle, you will find Lord Ram and Sita in different Pranayams. While, the top and bottom of the painting depict the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu.

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-This particular painting goes by the name Krishna Leela. In the centre, you will find Lord Krishna depicted in the scene of Krishna Leela. While, the top and bottom of the painting depict the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu.

The paintings done in a beautiful natural colours are a masterpiece when it comes to fine detailing.

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We take pride in the fact that we are a culturally rich nation that has immense number of art forms and artists surviving within. We are doing our bid to empower our cultural heritage and bring it to the front. Hope this inspired you to take notice and do your bid as well…

 

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