Sunday 24 August 2014

Tapping the traditional roots - Warli paintings by Jiva Soma Mhase.

 Jiva Soma Mhase.
On this auspicious occasion of Independence Celebration week, I felt like tapping the very roots of Indian Art’s tradition and culture. Hailing from Mumbai, situated in Western India, I tapped the very old folk art of painting- Warli paintings. Warli art is purely tribal art, painted by tribesmen living at Thane, Dahanu and other areas at close proximity to Mumbai. Close proximity to urbanized society has not affected the style of Warli painting, though some development has been incorporated. Since Warli painting is commonly found paintings on walls and in courtyards of tribesmen who were illiterates, there are no records of the exact origin. But it was discovered in early seventies. 
(Strictly for illustrative purpose only)
Jivya Soma Mashe is one of the most appreciated Warli artists. His works are displayed at National and International galleries. He is the savior of this Art and also instrumental in spreading his ethnic style all over the world. Like any other Warli artist, he expresses daily and social events of these tribesmen. He too has elaborate presentation of nature and culture of these men in his creations. Along with hunting, dancing, sowing and harvesting scenes, there are huts and forms of animals that are the part of their daily life.  

The style of Warli painting in original form is unique. In the sense, it is especially done on austere mud base using one color, white, with occasional dots in red and yellow. This color is obtained from grounding rice into white powder.

Though devout Warli artists prefer to adhere to traditional images, artists like Jiva Soma Mhase understands the value of bringing in new knowledge and ideas in Warli painting and thus we find tradition blended with upgraded knowledge and conflicts of these tribal for survival due to modernization.  

Truly, Warli style murals and paintings look more effective on walls, but as a part of development, they have started spreading their art to non-Warli communities. And now it is often done on paper and cloth incorporating traditional decorative Warli motifs with modern elements, and even these are fast becoming popular.  

All the traditional inclined art lovers can always approach this non-arrogant, simple and rustic artist for more interesting facts of this tribe and its art. 

by Pankaja JK 


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Thanks for comment JK