Kalamkari at Monobhumi Art Space
Monobhumi's maiden attempt at introducing an age-old south Indian traditional method of image-making transposed the world of popular textile painting into art fit for gallery space. Kalamkari, has been the center of interest for a couple of artists who participated in a month-long workshop organized by the gallery and taught by artist Tarun Ghosh. Artist Aditya Sundar Roy assisted Ghosh during the workshop which saw artists Ishrat Jahan Kakon and Masudur Rahman joining in to receive training in some basic processes and design of Kalamkari, which uses natural dyes and numerous washes.
The exhibition that ran its course between August 29 and September 12, 2014, was a low-key affair compared to the events of the most mainstream galleries, and was composed of works produced during the workshop. It furnished works by Tarun Ghosh and Aditya Sundar alongside above mentioned participants among whom Rahman is the key initiator of the gallery who plans and steerheads projects as one of the stakeholders.
The works on display brought into view three different categories of works. If pieces by Ghosh fused the traditional motifs with Picassoesque figural structures, Aditya Sundar's references to nature were as minimalistic as that of the Zen landscape. Whereas Kakon and Rahman toyed with the idea of transposing the traditional designs onto the pieces done on silk and mounted in stretchers like conventional painting. A number of the works drew inspiration from mainstream abstraction of the subcontinent.
The Kalamkari tradition is believed to have been in existence for three thousand years. Traditional Kalamkari tells 'picture stories' including sagas from Ramayana, Mahabharata, Panch Tantra and of folk heroes.
Kalamkari or Qalamkari, considered an Indian heritage, is a type of hand-painted or block-printed cotton textile, produced in parts of India and in Iran. The word is derived from the Persian words ghalam (pen) and kari (craftmanship), meaning drawing with a pen (Ghalamkar), says Wikipedia. There are villages in Kalahasti and Masulipatnam located in Andhra Pradesh in south India famous for Kalamkari art.
- DEPART DESK