Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Indian Folk culture

One fine day, I had this brainwave that I needed to get some Indian folk culture captured in collage.    I started off with a small format because I wanted to finish each piece in a single sitting.   Just to be different, I decided to work with a pair of scissors this time.   It did go a lot faster than it would have tearing paper by hand.  
 First I did the dholak (Indian drum) player with an abstracted back ground.   This is a widely popular instrument as it provides the basic beats for dancing or chanting.   Usually strung from the waist or shoulders, the beats have a hypnotic quality. Combined with heady melodies of folk music, it is delightful.


Next I did the Shehnai player.  The Shehnai is an aero phonic instrument made of wood and has between 6 to 9 holes.   The sound of this instrument is recognized as creating a sense of auspiciousness hence played at weddings and on festival days.   Strictly speaking this a classical instrument usually played at concerts while sitting down cross-legged.  With my artistic license I imagined, my musician playing it from a palace window just before sunrise.  Hence the quick down on one-knee kneeling posture!

While the first two have a more north Indian flavour, the next one is right out from the deep south of India.

Poi Kaal Kudhirai is a very popular Tamil folk dance form. This translates as False Legged Horse. The artiste steps into this costume of a horse rather garishly done up and pretends to be riding it this dance form. Usually the dance drama is about the heroics of a king. Sometimes the dancer also combines this with stilts. Usually performed in the evening under the arc lights, this is a truly an explosion of colour.

I think there is potential here for a good series.  Have to sort out ideas in my head first. Watch this space!

3 comments:

Kate said...

Absolutely stunning, Vijaya! First, I'm amazed with your subects! Very different, very cultural, and a wonderful way for Westerners to learn about diversity in our world. I really love the way you've captured the movement in your subjects, and I especially like the background of the third of Poi Kaal Kudhirai. You created the movement through your background. Great job! I also think that doing a series of pieces is a good idea! Art buyers like that. Wonderful!

Vijaya said...

Thank you Kate for your kind words of encouragement.

Rizwana Mundewadi said...

Indian Folk culture has been and will always be one of the weaknesses among Indians as well as international art buyers, great choice of subject and very attractive artworks!