Tribal Art Forms is the brainchild of Rasika Kajaria, Mandira Lamba, and Ridhi Bhalla. It is a platform that believes that through traditional Indian art, this world could become a better place to live in. constant and continuing efforts are put by volunteers and members of this collaboration between two art galleries to showcase the ideologies behind the tribal and folk arts.
In June of 2018, Tribal Art Forms joined hands with United Nations and Yes Foundation to showcase an art exhibit that displayed myriad forms of folk and tribal art Prevelant across the country. The subject matter of the exhibit was heartwarming: Environmental conservation. The showcase was to raise the voice against indiscrete use of natural resources, promote sustainable procedures and cultural solutions for reducing the effect of pollution which is continuously damaging the landscape.
The Vision of Tribal Art Forms
The artists that participated in this event had made their artworks from non-biodegradable plastics with colors obtained from natural extracts. Through this, they registered their growing concern over the constant degradation of our natural surroundings that is becoming inhabitable by humans and wildlife as days pass.
The founders of Tribal Art Forms organized the event. Their devotion to traditional folk and tribal art made them work hard to give it the recognition it deserves. They made visits to the center where art was produced and had a conversation with the artists. They were able to comprehend from this meeting that potential art buyers that lived in urban cities were not ready to accept the fact that tribal and folk art are also worthy of their appreciation. The urban elite is influenced by contemporary and modern art more as compared to indigenous art.
Thus, they started to make efforts for the promotion of these art forms in metro cities through special programs custom prepared for them and online marketing. The Earth Warriors’ success affirmed the fact that their efforts are not in vain. They have understood that our cultural identity and history and art forms related to them would not lag behind.
Minhaz Majumdar, the famous art curator, was behind the conceptualization of the Earth Warriors. She wanted to display how rich and diverse forms under the umbrella term of tribal and folk art. These artistic beauties have a cultivated sense to draw out the emotions of oneness in the spectator. They marvelously depict the traditional Indian art with its ethics. Various art forms were included in the exhibit which is as follows:-
- Bhil from Madhya Pradesh
- Gond from Odisha
- Sohrai and Khovar from Hazaribagh
- Pattachitra from Bengal
- Madhubani from Bihar
- Warli from Maharashtra
- The art of weaving Bamboos from Meghalaya
She said that we must acknowledge the fact that these artists and their art must not bear the unnecessary pressure of modern contemporary art by making comparisons between the two. She was of the view that if the right opportunity was given to these artists, they will destroy all the misconceptions and opinions that are held against them for so long.
The works of the traditional Indian art that were displayed at the event were filled with vivacious and bright colors. The purpose was to show how humanity and nature share a bond that is millions of years old. The idea which storms the souls is that humans have made themselves superior to other life forms that are against the rule of nature. The artworks put forward the argument against this prevalent notion. They believe that all living creatures are part of the divine plan.
The intricate designs show the intermingling of figures. The subject matter so craved portrayed the human figures in the form of trees, clouds, and animals. There were two large structures made of Paper Mache. They were styled in Gond art form depicting the famous motifs of tribal art such as flora and fauna by using various tones of earthly colors i.e. green, brown, blue, pink, and yellow. Paper Mache is made by making a dough of paper and mixing it with other things like chalk powder to make it durable.
Hazaribagh paintings are generally created on the walls. They were created on canvas and then framed. The most beautiful art that was depicted in the exhibit was Pattachitra because artist Montu Chitrakar, who hails from Bengal and belongs to the Chitrakar Community to which this great art belongs, was narrating and explaining the motifs and patterns of the art in a form of a Bengali song.
The art was made on the sheets that were designed to form a scroll. This visual art raised concerns about the ill effects of plastic which enters the water bodies and pollutes it beyond repair. It also degrades the quality of life of tribals which largely depend on natural resources for their livelihood. The statement and ideas floated by these artists were clear and sharp. We need to take steps to reverse the role of humans who have destroyed the natural ecosystem of this earth under the intoxication of power and development. The exhibit highlighted the need to give attention to these problems and it did so strongly.