Community Dance

Posted on: August 10, 2011 at 2:02 am

"Community Dance" is inspired by the tribal Warli art.  The Warli tribe lives on the west coast of India near Mumbai with over 300,000 members.  Their extremely rudimentary wall paintings use a very basic shapes - a circle, a triangle and a square. The circle and triangle come from their observation of nature, the circle representing the sun and the moon, the triangle derived from mountains and pointed trees. Only the square seems to obey a different logic and seems to be a human invention, indicating a sacred enclosure or a piece of land.
The central motif in these ritual paintings is surrounded by scenes portraying hunting, fishing and farming, festivals and dances, trees and animals. Human and animal bodies are represented by two triangles joined at the tip ‹ the upper triangle depicts the trunk and the lower triangle the pelvis.
The ritual paintings are usually done inside the huts. The walls are made of a mixture of branches, earth and cow dung, making a red ochre background for the wall paintings. The Warli use only white for their paintings. Their white pigment is a mixture of rice paste and water with gum as a binding. They use a bamboo stick chewed at the end to make it as supple as a paintbrush. The wall paintings are done only for special occasions such as weddings or harvests.
I don't really remember when I first learned about Warli Art, may be it was during our stay in Mumbai. But it is such a fun art to create, I remember doodling them during my collage lectures.   A dear friend of mine reminded me about Warli Art during our recent chit-chat session. So after a really long time I created "Community Dance".
The art is created on Arches watercolor paper , with sap green in watercolor as the background. The figures have been painted in Acrylic and white ink. The painting measures  15.5"x 15.5" inches.
Here are few photos that I clicked  while working on this piece. So you could see the stages of creativity....
"Community Dance" initial sketch with white ink

"Community Dance" initial sketch with white ink

"Community Dance" Completed © sandhyamanne 2011

"Community Dance" Completed © sandhyamanne 2011

Would love to hear your comments on this artwork.......don't forget to post your comments down.

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