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Showcasing Orissa

FOR SEVERAL years now, Konarka Silpi Samabaya Samiti has been working for the upliftment of craftsmen in Orissa. As part of this effort, the organisation holds exhibitions of the items made by the skilled craftsmen of the state, who are looking for the much-needed recognition and money. In Chennai, an exhibition of Orissa arts and crafts will be held at the C. P. Art Centre, Alwarpet from January 4 to 12.

Amongst the artisans taking part, there are several state and National awardees. Dhokra casting, a tribal craft involving a process with brass and wax has a wide range of products. Nitayananda Bhol's impressive variety of Dhokra products would include an 18 ft lamp. Items priced from Rs.20 onwards would be available.

Palm leaf carving by Karunakar Sahoo would be another attraction. Pattachitra is a living art practised by traditional 'chitrakars' who draw inspiration from mythology for their lively expressions and illustrations on canvas and tussars. Chalk and tamarind seeds are powdered and mixed with paint for an earthy appeal. The palm leaf work is also made with leakhri, i.e, iron nails for expressing the art better.

Stone carved items are yet another facet of the artistic range. M. Moharana's specialities in red sand stone, serpentine stone, kendumundi stone would speak of the cultural richness of the temples of Jagannath, Puri, Konark, Lingaraj etc.

Tarakashi is Orissa's well-known silver filigree craftsmanship. Known for its finish, foil and texture, this delicate art from Cuttack includes elegant jewellery and the Lord's chariot and Konark chakra in silver priced from Rs. 40 onwards.

Terracota items are State award winner, Mandardhar Moharana's forte who has several pieces of deities, animals and show pieces on display.

Applique work, Pipil work on saris, carpets, wood carving of both folk and classical forms, palm leaf greeting cards, book marks and cushion covers dressed in Pali and Sambalpur artistry would reflect the cultural ethos of the temple town at the nine-day exhibition.

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