Reviving Kinnala art

Staff Correspondent
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The Kinnala painted wooden art of north Karnataka was on a path of decline due to negligence. With the syllabus of art schools providing no room for such traditional arts has added to its woes. But the trend may be changing. Thanks to the initiations by some art schools, Kinnala is receiving a fresh lease of colour and life.

JSS Halbhavi School of Art here made one such effort by holding a seven-day camp in Kinnal art inviting the traditional artisan Narayanappa Chitrakar. The camp evoked good response with several students and teachers taking part in it.

School principal Gayatri Desaid said this art was challenging and interesting. The camp was organised to introduce this traditional art to the students. The syllabus focused more on modern art. It would also help the students to explore new avenues in the field of art, she said.

The students who were introduced to this ancient art were so much fascinated by it that they said they would explore potentials in this unique art and take it to different levels.

Punith S.N. said it was more interesting as miniature work was used to its maximum here.

Nagesh M.L. said here movements were more important than the colour combination. Both of them said they would explore potentials in this vanishing art form.

Nitin Mahale said such kinds of unique Indian arts should be incorporated in the syllabus.

Mr. Chitrakar told The Hindu that originally this art flourished in Vijayanagar. The wooden statues of Shiva and Parvati at Virupaksha Temple and the intricate work on the wooden chariot at Hampi were said to be the work of the ancestors of Kinhal artisans of today. The artisans migrated to Kinnal village in Koppal district after the fall of the empire and the art identified itself with the village.

Earlier, there were 50 families engaged in this art but today only two families were continuing the work, he said.

Light wood of neem nugge (drumstick tree) and kitta (liquid and paste of tamarind seeds) are the basic materials used here.

The artisans do multifarious job of cutting, polishing, painting and ornamenting the furniture.

Brushes made of hair of squirrel’s tail are used to do delicate painting.

Small and big ornamental boxes, stools, low planks (chowkis), god-stands (peetha) and cradles are the specialisation of these artisans.

The subjects of the art could be mythological characters, birds, animals, creepers, flowers and fruit.




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