There is a Warli painting workshop coming up in two weeks. And I am super excited. As a customer, I love the idea and wish more and more people would do this. As a marketeer, it helps me build a transparency with my customers. They know what they are buying, they know the person who makes it and they know how much this whole process means to me! But what gives me the most satisfaction is the idea that I am letting a few explore that child in them. The one that craves for that bright colored cupcake (the adult in them screams ‘non-food grade color’) and the one that loves the rain even if it means popping a crocin and drinking warm water when you get home. Personally when I try to create something, my two left hands are always a source of disappointment. I went to a school that put a lot of focus on making me a good home-maker, but the needlework classes weren’t particularly easy for me. I still dread the ‘lazy daisy’ that ended up as 5 sticks instead of petals and the ‘french knot’ that would create a mass of unyielding thread. And I can’t paint to save my life. Of late I’ve started dabbling a bit in painting again (ok, it’s only for my interior design course!) and I’ve realised that it is so much fun to let yourself go.
This painting workshop is set to do just that. Create an environment where you learn something interesting, try your hand at color and in the process become aware of a craft that has been around for generations. Warli is perfect for this. It is a simple art form. Traditionally in the Maharastra-Gujarat border, it is done by women in their household. It follows some simple rules. The paintings use a very basic graphic vocabulary: circle, triangle and square. The circle comes from the shape of the sun and the moon, the triangle comes from mountains and pointed trees. Only the square is outside this realm of influence. It is not influenced by nature, but rather by a basic need of early settlers- their own piece of land. The square denotes an enclosed piece of land. So the central image in each painting is a square, the chauk. The mother goddess is inside the Chauk and depicts fertility.
Image Source: BCA Galleries
The traditional Tarpa dance was popularized by Tantra tee shirts. The dance denotes the communal set up. It is a show of solidarity by people in the community. A well coordinated dance form where the focus is still on the central figure.
Village life is prominent in this form. Women carrying pots of water, a farmer ploughing his field are common themes that recur.
Ganesha has gained popularity in this art form. Originally, it was the Mother Goddess who found the pride of place in the center of the Chauk. Slowly this has been replaced by Lord Ganesha.
So go ahead, indulge that child in you. Or better still, do that with a bunch of people like you-young at heart!