India has a rich diversity of varied traditional and folk art forms which are still practiced by many communities across the country. One such popular art form is Warli, which has its roots in the Warli region of Maharashtra. And spreading awareness about this intricate and beautiful art are the Vayeda brothers – Mayur and Tushar, who are currently painting a wall in Lodhi ColonyNew Delhi, famous for its striking wall art.
Organized by st+art India Foundation, it is an art residency project that focuses solely on: folk artists† “Tushar and I have been practicing this art for almost 12 years now. We tend towards miniature and contemporary style. For this wall, we focus on the traditional way of painting learned from our ancestors and our community. We are currently doing several experiments and working on different elements. But at the same time, we don’t want to damage the traditional feeling of Warli,” Mayur said indianexpress.com†
born in the warlic community, the siblings are self-taught artists, who have picked up the skills of villagers and their relatives. “We still live and practice with the community,” he added.
Share as the community calls it warlic ‘writing’ instead of ‘painting’, he said: “It’s because we speak in the Warli language, but we don’t have a written script. So everything about the rituals, paintings and other important things of the tribe is only oral. We express all these stories, people, religion and daily rituals through the Paint†
Warli painting uses minimal elements and materials to portray the stories of the community, he shared. “In this art form, we use basic figures such as triangles, circles, squares and lines. We generally make our own brushes. We use bamboo sticks to paint. For canvas, we buy simple cotton fabric and use cow dung and red bottom† For this wall we experiment with terracotta colours. †
The wall of Lodhi Colony, which is currently being decorated with Warli art by these artists, will be a testament to the changes taking place in the community. “On this wall, we try to express the stories of our tribes in our own way. We used to focus only on everyday life and rituals. But now various development projects, infrastructure building and migration to cities are taking place in the community. We try to show the same in our art,” said the 29-year-old.
Despite the rich history of such tribal art forms in India there is a looming fear of losing them to ignorance. “When we started, we had no knowledge about galleries and projects – which we have learned and explored over the years. But there are many artists who still don’t know much about how to advance their art. Projects like these help us to connect with different artists and understand their processes,” he concluded.
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