‘Modern Tribal’ showcases craftsmanship of tribal artists

With the objective to focus on tribal artisans from the Gondwana Region in central India, practicing Gond, Bhil, Warli, Sohrai & Kohvar art Craft and Community Development Foundation (CCDF) is going to organise ‘Modern Tribal’ group show which are the selections from the Gondwana Art Project. The group show is going to be exhibited from 7 to 9 February 2023 at India Habitat Centre. The show is curated by Antara Dey. The artists for the Gondwana Art Project are selected based on assessment of quality of work, talent, and current economic status. The objective is to create a platform for these tribal artists to present their work and their perspectives demonstrating their creativity and craftsmanship, introducing new methods and techniques that express both traditional and contemporary imagery and values. The artworks created under the project are showcased to a global audience, opening new markets for these traditional artforms

The artists involved in The Gondwana Art project create artworks, under guidance and mentoring by CCDF designers. The project aims to ensure that the artworks are unique pieces of tribal art incorporating design elements keeping in mind a wide range of global audiences. During the project the artisans are allowed to freely express their skills and experiment with new techniques, design and color palette, to create modern and contemporary tribal artworks. ‘Modern Tribal’ group show brings together artworks which embody contemporary art through the lens of tribal artists. Over the centuries, artists from the innumerable tribes of India have strove to express the idea of their lifestyle, lore & culture through art, music, textile & more. The most common way they found was to incorporate their folk art to materials that could be purchased by the ‘mainland’ people and hence keeping the folk art alive. This meant that while a specific form of folk art should have been made on the peripheral walls of a hut somewhere in an undisclosed village, the artist now translated the artwork on a paper or a piece of cloth or even on bags and pottery for them to be accessible to the outsider public.

This gave way to entrepreneurs hiring such folk artists to mass- produce objects solely for selling purposes – making no effort on keeping the artform itself alive. The paintings are made exclusively on canvas and paper, using mediums such as acrylic colours, pen and ink, giving way to nuanced thoughts of modernity and progressiveness, while the usage of lines, form, composition and authentic storytelling, holding on tightly to the traditional aspect of creating folk or tribal art.

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