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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Forging the yesterday-today connect!

By Team IAnD
Photography:  Team IAnD
  
Shyamala Rao making a presentation on block printing
Shyamala Rao making a presentation on block printing

India Art n Design (dot) com’s (IAnD) interactive session at the Make in India Centre brought alive the traditional flavour of taken-for-granted Indian aesthetics…

As part of the week long Make in India events in Mumbai, IAnD was supported by four passionate artists, who took the audiences back to 3000 B.C. as they enlightened the large gathering of onlookers and participants on the  ‘survival of Indian traditional arts and crafts in the digital era’.

Daphene Dias conducting the metal craft workshop
Daphene Dias conducting the metal craft workshop
Metal scapes done by the participants
Metal scapes done by the participants

Conducted under the aegis of Association of Designers of India (ADI) and facilitated by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), the morning session on the third day of the Make in India week saw a successful turn-out of almost a 150-plus moving crowd. Young craft enthusiasts diligently set their minds and hands to block printing, metal craft and the art of tribal Warli painting.


Block printing workshop in progress
Block printing workshop in progress
block printed bag
A young participant with her proud creation

Workshop leads, veteran textile artist and renowned block printer Shyamala Rao; metal craft artist Daphene Dias and Warli artist Nita Desai engaged their groups via demonstrations and hands-on activities from the word ‘go’! This saw surging enthusiasm amongst the participants, who were eager to try out the different crafts being explored.


Gayatri Mehta painting a live portrait
Gayatri Mehta painting a live portrait
The portrait in dry pastel on paper
The portrait in dry pastel on paper

The session was corroborated and curated by veteran portrait painter Gayatri Mehta, who also took to the easel to paint a live portrait of a pretty young lady, who was only too eager to ‘sit’ for her. Gayatri, with her deft strokes, put dry pastel to paper, chiselling the sharp facial contours and capturing the essence of the peaceable expression on the model’s visage.

Nita Desai making her presentation and demonstrating the Warli technique
Nita Desai making her presentation and demonstrating the Warli technique

Such workshops – a total of 45mins of working time preceded by an interesting presentation on the arts and crafts of India - right from the Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh, the earliest known representations of art, traversing through the ages and touching upon different crafts that still hold a special place in contemporary times - are not only rich knowledge sources, but reignite pride in our country’s heritage.

A packed workshop session
A packed workshop session

Presented as an abridged version of our vast histories enroute sociological and economic factors, such pockets of specific information dissemination are best suited to foster a good understanding of our arts and crafts in youngsters, without touching upon lengthy historical aspects that tend to bore the young minds. A wonderful way to forge the yesterday-today connect!

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