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Tuesday, Mar 18, 2003

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Cleverly crafted

Traditional art forms in innovative avatars make a colourful statement at the Orissa crafts fair presented by Karma at the C.P. Arts Centre. On till March 23 in the city.

CLASSICAL, FOLK and tribal streams meet, overlap and often run parallel to craft a captivating collage of the handicrafts and handlooms of Orissa. Emphasis on traditional skills coupled with sensitive design inputs makes the products suit contemporary tastes and a symbol of sophistication. From exquisitely woven ikat saris to unique sandstone icons, and from intricate dhokra-ware applique work to patachitra wall hangings... the traditional craft forms are being showcased in innovative avatars by `Karma' at a colourful Orissa Crafts Fair of Handlooms and Handicrafts, which is on in the city.

Designed to catch the eye are dhokra-ware wall hangings with fretwork frames featuring gods and goddesses crafted in the typical tribal art genre. Their creator, Rajendra Meher, also has to his credit compelling Ganesha profiles, arresting in their lacy filigree-like workmanship. Many other dhokra-ware artefacts such as standing lamps, boxes, candle stands and animal forms likewise compel attention. Equally spectacular is a range of sandstone icons, goddesses and apsaras sculpted in the typical Orissa style.

And, of course, there are the fabled Sambhalpuri and Katki ikat saris, dupattas and yardage, saris in silk cotton and tussar. The saris and dupattas are outstanding, with attractive motifs, woven borders and harmonious colour combinations. The colour palette comprises mellow greens, beiges, vivid oranges and typical reds. Prices range from Rs. 220 to Rs. 6,000.

Pipli work, appliqued garden umbrellas, wall hangings and cushion covers umbrellas make colourful statements at the fair. The patachitra paintings in silk, paper and tussar, depicting scenes from Hindu mythology and local lore are expressed in the brush strokes of Orissa's oldest craft. Both the patachitra paintings and palm leaf engravings have been adapted to create wall hangings and to embellish bookmarks and greeting cards. And from the walls of tribal huts on to rectangular pieces of tussar cloth come the exquisitely delineated Warli art like paintings with their stunning one dimensional silhouettes.

Papier-mâché masks, soft stone artefacts, granite paperweights and more are available at the fair which is on till March 23 at C.P. Arts Centre, 1 Eldams Road, Alwarpet.


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