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Art residency to reinvent Gond art with mural in Lodhi Art district


Press Trust of India New Delhi
With an aim to reinvent Gond art, a new art residency will contemporise the traditional Indian art form with modern urban art techniques, and reintroduce it to the younger generation through a mural in the Lodhi Art district here.
Titled "From Craft to Contemporary", the residency organised by St+art India Foundation and Asian Paints, in association with Sanskriti Foundation, will see Gond artist Bhajju Shyam exploring feasible new mediums, themes and styles of the art form.
Gond art, one of central India's notable traditions, is deeply inspired by an animist philosophy. Vibrant and bold, the art is made entirely using dots and lines.
Dating back to the Mesolithic era, it is a traditional art form practised mainly by the Pardhaan Gonds of Madhya Pradesh and continues to adorn numerous house walls and public places in the state.
"We are trying to explore various street art techniques with the Gond art form to present this age old tradition in a more contemporary style. We are working with one of the masters of the craft to expand its language for a younger audience from urban India," Hanif Kureshi, Co-Founder and Artistic Director, St+art India Foundation, said.
Shyam, who belongs to the Gond-Pardhaan community, is known the world over for his masterful Gondi strokes and detail-oriented drawings and paintings. Inspiration for most of his pieces, made using the technique of Gond tribal art, came to him from his daily observations.
"I have been inspired looking at Lodhi Art District and the manners in which artists have created murals over here.
"With my project with St+art, I am sure I will learn new artistic techniques that can be applied to my mural in Lodhi. I also hope to take these learnings home with me, to use them again in my projects in the future," the artist said.
The final design created as part of the residency will make it to the walls of the Lodhi art district here, along with a comprehensive film on Gond art that aims to place the indigenous craft tradition in direct conversation with contemporary art forms, emphasising its relevance on a global scale.
"While the mural will integrate Gond art within a popular tourist destination - the Lodhi art district, the movie will contribute to our understanding of the art form by exploring both its history and future," organisers said.
While this is a pilot project of the residency, organisers said they wanted to continue the venture with other traditional art forms as well, which are "slowly being forgotten, leading to a rapid decrease in opportunities for the artists, threatening the sustenance of the art forms".
"We are delighted to support this initiative by St+art India Foundation that will give traditional Indian art forms and artists their much deserved popularity among the young consumers today. We look forward to a long and successful association with the artist residency project," Jaideep Kanse, General Manager Brands, Asian Paints said.

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First Published: Nov 27 2019 | 5:00 PM IST

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