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Local flavour, global colour

CKP has more colours on its palette with its two new galleries being opened on Rajyotsava

The folk art and international art galleries will make the city on par with the other metros — Photos: Sampath Kumar G.P.

ESTABLISHED IN 1960, the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat (KCP) is acknowledged as a premier art institution in the State. Known for its charming ambience and engaging character, KCP brings together both young and established artists who regularly exhibit their works in its galleries. As an art school, it is involved in providing education in visual arts while its permanent displays throw open to the visitor a unique collection of works created by masters of the land. KCP is also a hub of cultural activities with its workshops, art camps, performances, and melas.

And now, it is all set to affix another feather to its colourful cap by adding two more galleries — one exclusively dedicated to the folk and tribal art, and the other to house an international collection of artworks.

The Museum on Folk and Tribal Art is meant to be a treasure trove for researchers, artists, students, art teachers, and general public. "It is much more than a mere storage space where objects are displayed," says ParishatVice-President Kejriwal. "It is a knowledge base where national and international, rural and urban, high art, and folk art can been seen in unison allowing for cross cultural linkages, new conversations in the study of art."

It will house representative works collected from different parts of the country. The attempt is to focus not only the existing and well-known practices but also showcase some rarely seen and relatively unknown tribal art forms as well. Thus, one can view, under a single roof, leather puppets of Karnataka, the Warli paintings of Maharashtra, pithoras made by Rathwa, Bhil, and the Saura tribes, Assamese folk art, Naga wooden sculptures, kathis of Gujarat, Santhal art, Gond tribal paintings, Bastar folk art, Madhubani paintings, patachitras from Orissa, kantha textile art, chamba rumals, Kurumba tribal art, Khonde sculptures, Meena tribal paintings, Phad paintings, patha paintings of Kumaon, Company School paintings, reverse glass paintings, mica paintings, besides astrological scrolls, masks, ganjifas, dolls, embroidery work, and even playing cards. All these will displayed in a highly conducive and stimulating environment that not only pleases the eye but also stimulates the mind.

The International Art Gallery will host paintings and sculptures of renowned artists from Brazil, Germany, Romania, U.S.A., Canada, and so on. Nearly 50 works of varying sizes, mediums, and content will be displayed in a specially created floor space of 4,000 sq. ft.. Karl Wiebke (Germany), who sees painting as a form of dialogue and whose works are statements of perception, will rub shoulders with Carmen Poenarm (Romania), whose child-like enthusiasm is reflected in her works. Like her poems, Cristina Ciobanu's canvases reflect poetic quality with their subtle colours and vibrancy while Michael Morris (Canada), in his India series, is inspired by the living experience of colour combinations on the streets of Delhi and elsewhere. Lee Waisler (U.S.A.), on the other hand, strives to evolve a possible aesthetic voice for the survivors.

The gallery will also display two works, donated by the Brazilian ambassador, of the renowned painter Dolino, known for his powerful structural arrangements. Other artists whose works are represented include Rich Arnold, Gardon Bradt, Windell Castle, Daniel Wheeler, Mark Beam, and the celebrated Ranchen Berg.

Both the galleries are a result of the munificence of Mr. Kejriwal, who has been associated with KCP's activities for decades. A proud art collector and an enthusiastic donor, he is excited over the way the project is shaping up. "We are not leaving any stone unturned to make this a very significant endeavour. We have brought in some of the best professionals who are assisting us in rendering the galleries to international standards."

Siddharth Tagore, under whose supervision the project is reaching fruition, is equally upbeat about the outcome. He has a special word of praise for the Garden City. "Bangalore has a kind of vibrancy not found elsewhere," says Dr. Tagore."People are cultured and appreciate good art whole-heartedly without any hesitation or bias."

The organisers are gearing up to give the finishing touches to the new galleries that will be inaugurated on the Kannada Rajyotsava (November1).

To benchmark the occasion, a special catalogue, Art of the Earth, will be released.


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