Issue #002, Winter, 2019 ISSN: 2581- 9410
Folk art forms, be they paintings, sculpture, dance or music are an integral part of Indian culture. My journey into folk art began after a ten-year involvement with designing and marketing crafts from all over India. An artist friend from America, Scott Rothstein was spending a couple of years in India and was utterly fascinated by folk paintings and sculptures. I began translating for him as we met with folk art practitioners and soon enough, we were both totally drawn into the deep and complex world of folk art in India. Little did we know that in the months to come, the preservation and promotion of these artistic traditions would become a major pre-occupation for us.
By definition, folk art is the art ‘of’ and ‘by’ the people and by and large adheres to the norms and values of established traditions or communities. People belonging to the tradition/community learn these artistic skills and knowledge systems, both consciously and subconsciously, through predetermined cultural ceremonies and by simply living in the particular milieu in which the art form is practiced. Usually, these art forms are passed from one generation to the other. Consider a child born in an artist’s home in Madhubani, Bihar. Surrounded from birth by the beautiful drawings on the floor and walls, s/he perhaps sees close relatives working on the paintings on paper, unconsciously assimilating all the aesthetic and symbolic essence of the art form. As ...
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