Soara Art [14 – 16 June 2014]

The Soara art uses a lot of motifs to depict the animals, houses, people and the various activities which the Soara tribal people perform – such as hunting, farming, and largely their celebrations! This workshop had artist Sebati Swain encapsulate all of that into a 3-day learning experience for the participants.

Participants worked on Tussar silk and learnt how to make borders, houses, and animals. As they learnt the basics of this art form, they were able to create their own narrative and stories which they would want to represent.

The experience left them even more appreciative of the art, and one of the participants vowed never to bargain when buying these precious pieces of art!

To view the Art Pitara Gallery, click here.


Leather Puppets [11 – 13 June 2014]

This workshop began with the noted artist Gunduraju showcasing some of the oldest puppets from his collection and slowly moving on to contemporary ones. The difference between the two was a world apart. While the older ones were made of deer-skin leather, the new ones are made of Goat-leather. The leather used however is treated and is almost like hard, transparent paper. In earlier times, the colors too were natural, but now the artists use Camlin Drawing Inks!

This of course lends flexibility to puppeteers like Gunduraju for who performances are becoming fewer and fewer, and leather based products are taking the forefront.

During the workshop, participants of all ages, chose a puppet they would make, separated its limbs and using the shapes, cut out a new piece for themselves.

Participants experimented with different colors and created various puppets in different sizes! They even learnt how to use the tools for creating the different holes [straight, round, etc] and by the end of the workshop, they could move their own puppets!

To view the Art Pitara Gallery, click here.

Kaavad: A collage of images [5 – 8 June 2014]

The storyteller and the art of storytelling has become remote and distant. The four day Kaavad workshop, helped in bringing this remote past into the present. The participants got a glimpse of a world full of mythical heroes, gods, and the world of folk tales and epics.

With each door unfolding a scene from the narrative and adding to the mystery of the story, the participants learnt the various ways in which they could sequence their stories on the box, and can keep their audiences engrossed while narrating the tale. It was almost like creating a graphic novel on wood and have it come alive as each door opened!

While some of the participants created their own story boxes inspiring even the artist to try purple and pink coloured boxes, others preferred to stick to tradition and painted the story of Mahabharata/Panchatantra on brightly coloured yellow and red boxes!

To view Art Pitara Gallery, click here.

Calligraphy [3 – 4 June 2014]

This workshop was conducted to acquaint people with a tradition which originated one thousand years ago. In an age where all written communication is electronic, it was overwhelming to see the turnout for this workshop. The two day workshop saw, participants from different walks of life, working with colorful inks, different nibs: pens, bamboo pens, and cardboard pieces.

Under Mohd. Zubair’s supervision, the participants got to know about a lot of techniques such as the grip and the angle with which you hold your pen and the direction in which you should take the pen forward, among others.

During the workshop, the participants tried various calligraphy alphabets and scripts to write something. They even experimented with form based calligraphy and wrote the word ‘jug’ or ‘circle’, within the shapes of jug and circle.

This workshop surely left people craving for more, and their hands greased with colorful ink!

To view the Art Pitara Gallery, click here.



Expressions of Pithora [30 – 31 May 2014]

If one has to look at the paintings which celebrate the grandeur of human life, then it is the Pithora paintings which portray the different expressions of life!

This workshop was all about the participants trying to blend the invocations, myths and fantasy stories related to Baba Pithora, contours of horses, birds, bulls, and other animals with men and women on the paper.

Everyone was inquisitive about the horses and elephants in the paintings. Desingbhai Rathwa told an interesting story about the wedding between Pithora and Pithori where all the gods and goddesses gave their blessings over horses and elephants.

The paintings finished by the participants were as bright and grand as is the culture of the community!

To view the Art Pitara Gallery, click here.

Molela- The lyric of handicraft [26-29 May 2014]

The Art Pitara 2014 edition started with Molela Tile Workshop. The one aspect of the workshop which everybody found exciting was to work with clay and create different forms of tiles. The curiosity among the participants increased when they learnt about the significance of various deities that are represented in these tiles and the significance of the icon of Dharamraj in the tiles.

Rajender Ji, Molela artist, told them that it is their belief that it is because of the Dharamraj, a blind potter got his eyesight back and it is for this reason that the image of God is being made by every Molela artist even today, to keep the tradition alive.

Their curiosity got converted into startlement when Rajender Ji, told them that they had worked with a mixture of clay and donkey’s dung. The four day workshop saw every participant make one tile each day and learn different techniques. They even saw the process of firing and baking of tiles.

Even the volunteers couldn’t resist getting their hands dirty – or happy for that matter!

To view the Art Pitara Gallery, click here.


Cheriyal Mask Making [23-25 June 2014]

We all wear some mask or the other. But we bet, you haven’t tried wearing a Cheriyal Mask just yet! While the participants at the Cheriyal Mask Making Workshop learnt how to make Male-Female-Devil-and other forms, some of them also tried wearing their colourful alter-faces 😉

What sets these masks apart is their composition – made of tamarind seed paste, sawdust powder, and layered with strips of cloth, chalk powder paste before being finally painted, these masks are unbreakable!

To view the Art Pitara Gallery, click here.

The stories of Gond..

The last few days, not only did the participants get an insight into Gond art, but also into tribal belief systems and popular folklore!

For instance, it is their belief that Sheshnag (a mythical 5-headed snake, & the lord of snakes),  holds the earth on its head. When he feels the burden, and moves his head, the shift in balance causes Earthquakes! That definitely, IS a more exciting reason to believe in!

We also heard from artist Dilip Shyam, how they fear that the Baghban (or Tiger) would eat up a Groom on his wedding night, and how they therefore fool it by keeping a pig in the room instead of the Groom!

Of course there was more on why the Peacock has ugly feet, and what happens when Antelopes lock horns!

Now such stories are bound to inspire fun, and interesting art! A small glimpse into what the participants came up with: