::: Madhubani.com :::
With the objective of making
Madhubani form of paintings more popular across the world and in return
creating Madhubani art center, the jha sisters hold their exhibition of
Madhubani paintings at Kala academy,
writes Naguesh R Sardessai.
If you will
think that Madhubani paintings are to be found only in the region
of Bihar then you will be surprised to know that three young and
beautiful ladies have made it a point to get this form of
paintings to Goa.
Beginning in the year 1998 the Jha sisters, namely Manisha,
Bandana and Puja have consistently exhibited their works in Goa at
Kala Academy’s Art Gallery. This time too they are showing their
Madhubani styled paintings at the said art Gallery. Armed with a
degree in Architecture with M-tech in their kitty, all three
sisters are passionate about painting. Their objective of holding
these exhibitions is to make Madhubani form of painting popular
across the world which in turn, they opine, will help in creation of
Madhubani Art Center.
This center will
create self- employment opportunities for the poor women of Mithila from
where this art form has originated.
More than eighty works displayed have various themes depicted in them
like the scenes right from the Panchtantra to Hindu Mythology, from the
normal tourist scene to ecological. The paintings have detailed and
decorative elements, fine line work and vibrant colors catching the
viewer’s attention. The figures and forms are stylized with heavy
decoration covering the remaining portion of the paintings. Even the
human form is not left alone sans decoration.
Even whilst portraying the current social themes like women’s state and
role in the modern context and other such types the sisters have treaded
carefully so as not to disturb the originality of the art form and they
have been successful in doing that which in itself is commendable.
Born in Madhubani, Bihar the sisters are naturally influenced by this
art form. And to add to that, came the support and guidance of their
grandmother to whom they say they are grateful. They have exhibited
their works in Major cities of India and elder one of the trio, Manisha
has even won awards for her works.
Manisha conducts workshops in Baroda. With the help of her sisters, of
Madhubani paintings across the country in various schools and
educational institutions, for the young and old, including the
challenged kids. The sisters recently conducted a workshop for the
special children of Delhi at British council, New Delhi. Fulfilling
their social obligation, besides helping decorate people’s wall with
eye-catching paintings, make these artists stand apart.
What was intriguing of the show was the usage of three notably distinct
hues. Few of the works were in bright colors whilst the others were in
dull and dark shades with peculiar style of composition and still others
were in monochromes. Seeing the predicament of this writer Manisha, came
forward to explain there are three different styles of Madhubani
paintings, each evolved with the same twin purpose of decorating the
house during the festivals and social events like wedding, thread
ceremonies etc. And acting as a mascot to ward off the evil eye.
Painting these was also reactional activity for the women folk of the
“Due to strong caste differences, ”Manisha elaborated, ”the three major
castes namely the Brahmins, kayasthas and the harijan developed their
own individual styles influenced by their distinctly individual social
character. The Brahmins had their works painted with colorful hues, pink
and yellow were applied for the male and the female respectively,
especially where a bride and groom had to be represented. The kayasthas
on the contrary used monochromes, especially the shades of black and
white. Whilst the style, character and the content of the above two
remained identical, the Harijans had an all-together unique character to
They divided the picture area into horizontal strips into which a small
form is drawn in a sequential manner most of the time repeating the same
form over the entire space giving it a character of a block print that
is usually seen on the sari borders. This style of painting is
colloquially called ‘Goidana’ – Tattoo. The colors used were also dull
and on the darker side of the color spectrum.
Some of the works that are worth mention are ‘Mahikhasur Mardini’, the
‘three monkeys’, ‘holy Ghats of Benaras’ for minimalist application of
hues and delicate usage of lines. ‘Radha- Krishna’ and Kadamba tree are
done in typical Brahmin style with heavy use of bright and cheerful
colors, combined with bold and delicate lines. Goa and the Five Senses
are the other ones that catch ones attention along with two huge floors
to ceiling scroll paintings.
In the five senses she has attempted to be more cerebral by getting in
more symbolism. The painting divided into five box represent the five
senses in a human being and they are further represented by the
respective symbols. But in the Kadamba tree they deliberately tried to
please the eyes with decorative motifs and eye-catching colors.
What is unique about these Madhubani works is the effort to use modern
methods and pigments like the acrylic colors on canvas, poster colors on
paper and fabric colors on glass, besides adhering to the traditional
ways of using vegetable dyes over the cow dung smeared ground. The show
is till 31 December.
::: Madhubani.com :::