TRANCE OF THE TRIBE
15 Sep, 2017 - 30 Oct, 2017
Folk and tribal arts are relatively less exposed forms of narrative Indian art and contain within them a gamut of styles originating from various geographical regions in India; Gond art is one such art form.Gond art is a surreal mix of memories, emotions, experiences, dreams, perceptions, and imagination, juxtaposed with an expression of their everyday quest for life. The Gond art rendezvous with the belief that "viewing a good image begets good luck". Originally painted as symbols of good fortune on the walls and floors of Gondi dwellings, this art form has now found a uniquely contemporary expression in brilliant acrylic hues on paper and canvas.The unifying theme in Gond art is the pervasive presence of nature. Their pantheon of gods are intimately connected to nature and their strong tradition of oral narrative seemingly transfers to their paintings as well. Numerous Gods and Goddesses, strange and exotic birds, flying snakes, tigers, dogs and cattle, breathtakingly beautiful trees and several other entities who inhabited the age old songs of the Gond tribe – are some of the subject matters of this art form. What is amazing is that all of these originally existed as notes and lyrics and nuances of their story telling musical traditions, and have gradually evolved and manifested on the canvas in vibrant colors and in an inimitable, distinctive style.
Through a unique labyrinth of dots and dashes, this art form is an illustrative narrative of stories, nature, and mythical legends, by an indigenous community, which has made its way to museums in Paris, Tokyo and New York.The casual observer identifies Gond art by the characteristic pattern composed of dots and dashes that fill its motifs. The aficionado on the other hand, can identify the artist by taking one look at those dots and dashes. This feature, uniquely so, is considered the signature of a Gond artist and each recognized pursuer of the art have evolved their own style.
Though it may appear so, there’s no abstract thought behind choosing the signature. The inspiration is almost always drawn from nature or societal customs and represented through a play of elements. Each artist has a fascinating explanation for having chosen a particular style. For example Gariba Singh Tekam uses a three-line pattern, which stands for the trishul – trident of the gods. Another example is that of Subhash Vyam who inspired by the magnificence of the peacock, uses the mor pankh (peacock feather) as his signature motif. Gond, is an art form throbbing in wild imagination that bear myths, supernatural forces and nature, and is simultaneously dipped in subtle folk wisdom. It resonates a culturally distinctive ethos making it an important contemporary art.