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Rural painting, photography merge in unique 'Experimenter'

PTI 05 Nov 2014, 12:38:41 PM IST

Kolkata: In a unique fusion of the urban and the indigenous folk art traditions, the Warli school of paintings of an indigenous artisan in rural Maharasthra has been brought to metro art galleries.
A collaborative exercise between the tribal artiste Rajesh Vangad from an adivasi coastal village Dahanu and Gauri Gil of Delhi.

Ways of Seeing', brings alive the landscape viewed through the eyes of 50-something painter having drawn the typical tribal motifs including animals in his inimitable style chiseled through generations and captured through the lens of Gill.

Bringing together two apparently disparate drawings the two complimented each other, Gill said.  “This is a unique art form called photo-painting aimed at bringing tribal art, a distinct tradition thriving for centuries, in the polished form freezed through lenses, Gill said.

“Though he can't speak in English, but in local dialect and Hindi. whenever we took our exhibition abroad as well as in Indian metros, his language and my language merged at one point. We started collaborating when I first met him two years back during one of my countless sojourns to India's heartland and we bonded instantly,” Gill said recalling her first tryst with Vangad.

“In this unique bond, you might christen it as jugalbandi between two artistes as in the domain of music. And I guess I could translate his indigenous art form or customize it for the urban audience,” Gill, whose ‘Experimenter' has taken this initiative,explained.

“In his art forms he revisits his own places, the rivers, his school where he studied upto class-V, the domestic animals and I only photographed the same and shroud it with the veneer of modernity,” Gill said.
“Vangad reasoned he got perhaps more than he lost despite leaving studied at an early age as he could execute the welled up thoughts through paintings instead of words.  “Any rural painting, be it in Santhal Parganas orr Worli or faraway Africa, has a distinct connect like music,” he said.

There are 53 woks of art, painting-photo gusion, to travel in India and abroad, Experimenter spokesperson Seher Shah said.