Sky, Earth and Water
I am forever searching for simple designs to incorporate into my mosaic or other mixed media work. Of late, I have been attracted to the indigenous art of the Mithila people, one of the ancient traditional arts of North India.
Mathili art was originally practiced by women on the interior walls of their homes. Popular legend dates the beginning of this art form to at least 5,000 years ago when, at the marriage of Sita and Rama, her father King Janak decreed that everyone should paint their homes with gods and goddesses to celebrate the happy occasion. (We should do that here in America!)
In the late 1960s Mathili artists began painting on paper as a means of earning a living. This soon led to experimentation and an expansion of the subject matters. Generally, this type of art captures the everyday lives, the rituals, festivals, social lives of Mathili people. The growing interest in this folk art form also encouraged some men begin to practice what was traditionally considered a women's art. Today, the art flourishes in the villages around the rural town of Madhubani in north India.
Women Mithila painters outnumber men by a large margin. Hindu gods and goddesses are still common subjects, but the repertoire now also includes popular stories, legends, local and even international events, autobiographies, and contemporary social and political issues.
The First Time to Market - and she is nervous
The internet, television and other media that lend a hand in the globalization of art has done much to aid in the popularity of Mithlian folk art. Today, once can find it on hand made Lokta papers and on hand made cotton clothing. Contemporary Mathlia artists have begun to use modern brushes and acrylic paints as opposed to the ancient, home made inks of old. With the new media exposure, market value for Mithili art has been increasing steadily. Fortunately, a growing number of women artists are able to earn decent a income from it, not to mention the rich cultural addition it lends to Northern India.
At the Pond in the Rain
At this time, Norbertallen Gallery in downtown Los Angeles is planning an Mithila Art in an exhibit called, “ An Indian Survey of Mithila Art”. It will run from July 8th through August 31.
Animals in the Forest
- ▼ 2010 (21)
- ► 2009 (56)