WISDOM FROM THE WILDERNESS: PAINTED AND NARRATED BY THE WARLI ADIVASIS OF DISTRICT THANE
Compiled, translated and edited by Pradip Prabhu, Shiraz Bulsara, and Kashtakari Sanghatna
Earthcare Books, 2018, pp. 148, `350.00
Origins of Art: The Gond Village of Patangarh
By Kodai Matsuoka, Bhajju Shyam
Tara Books, 2020, pp.198, `1,200.00
One of the few happy consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown is that people have become aware of Indian folk art. As crafts bazaars and melas, crafts emporiums etc., have had to shut shop willy-nilly, increasingly the sale of crafts has moved online. Folk art is easy to photograph and display on an e-platform and as a result Kalamkari, Madhubani, Mata-ni-Pacheri, Gond, Warli, phad and patachitra painting have all suddenly become more visible and familiar to art lovers. They are colourful and vibrantly alive, and their subjects, however stylized, are easily relatable. Their prices seem extraordinarily affordable to art lovers used to those of gallery artists. Suddenly two streams of art, long separated, have converged.
By a fortuitous coincidence, these two books, published before the pandemic, are available at just the right time. Equally happily, the books are works of art in themselves, perfectly reflecting and enhancing the themes and art that are their subject.