Re-Defining The Tradition In Folk Art: An Art Educator’s Perspective

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India’s diverse culture has been blessed with folk art – a phenomenon that defines the popular heritage of the country, yet is rapidly diminishing with modernity, industrialization, or outside influence. When we look back, traditional style of painting involves skill, talent and technique. The blend of these three factors not only gives life to art, but it also gives life to the culture.

Folk art via an educator’s perspective considers its impact on people, its function in various aspects of other cultural and social activities, and it is also considered as a communication system. Thus, when it comes to preserving the importance of folk art and its values, Chitrakathii offers a unique vision of arts-based education centring specifically on folk arts.

The Sister Duo behind Chitrakathii. Manisha and Vandana, Cofounders.

Chitrakathii – A Tale of Two Sisters

Vandana and Manisha, two sisters began their journey to explore folk art forms about two years ago, realized that in a growing technology-run and industrialised world the traditional values are losing the grip.

They witnessed how the transformation of urban places is a continuous process and that nothing articulates the complexity of Indian culture than folk art.

Despite of having a non-artistic background, they have mastered varied folk & tribal arts across the country.

Art piece by Chitrakathii.

This is when they noticed that handed down from one generation to another, Indian folk art is still alive in many parts of the country.  So, to share this treasure of knowledge with a vision to depict India’s heritage via pictures, they initiated Chitrakathii – “Chitra” means pictures and “Kathii” means stories.

Folk Art & Modern Interior

Piece by Chitrakathii.

It is believed that folk art or traditional art forms do not fit well in the modern interior! The team at Chitrakathii aims to burst the myth and is here to establish a trust for the traditional feel.

The team believes that folk art is a great way to create meaningful stylish interiors with real personality. It may not be most polished of looks, therein lies its charm.

Art piece by Chitrakathii.

As opposed to the more refined, uniform designs and colour palettes often seen in interiors, folk art provides a more laid-back, lived-in style, perfect for creating a highly original scheme that celebrates the wisdom and imagination of the craftsperson.

Art piece by Chitrakathii.

Chitrakathii Initiatives

As the Chitrakathii duo felt there was a gap in the society about the traditional art forms, they understood the urge to not just address that gap, but also to bridge the gap by teaching the importance of folk art to the next generation.

From addressing lack of knowledge as a barrier to colour themes and how different art forms are practices, the team conducts workshops covering larger formats than paintings.

Workshop Alert.

So, Chitrakathii offers endless ways for one to learn or buy folk art creatives and add more refined, uniform designs and colour palettes to the interior. You can also see more of their work being exhibited at Mumbai Art Fair, this October, at the Nehru Center.





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