Gond Art Inspired Print Fashion

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    The Gondi (Gōndi) or Gond or Koitur are an Indian ethnic group. They speak Gondi language which is a Dravidian language. They are one of the largest tribal groups in India. Gondi are known for folk and tribal art form of painting, the work of Gond artists is rooted in their folk tales and culture, and thus story-telling is a strong element of every painting. They are spread over the states of Madhya Pradesh, eastern Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha. They are listed as a Scheduled Tribe for the purpose of India's system of positive discrimination. They are an Adivasi group (indigenous people or tribal people) of India. They are famous for a unique for of art known as Gond paintings. Gond Art is a form of painting from folk and tribal art. Gond comes from the Dravidian expression, Kond which means 'the green mountain'. 

    Gond Art Patterns

    India’s Gond tribe are renowned by art aficionados for the vibrant artwork they produce. In their work, animals, plants and scenes from daily life are rendered in a colorful, highly patterned style comparable to aboriginal art. But up until the 1980s, Gond tribal art was all but unknown to outsiders, used only to decorate their homes. According to the Gond belief system, all things are inhabited by a spirit and, consequently, are sacred. Gond paintings are a reflection of man’s close connection with his natural surroundings.

    Tribal Print Clothing

    While a majority of Gond paintings do take inspiration from nature, it isn’t the only source of ideas. They also turn to the myths and legends of India or showcase images from the daily lives and dreams in their art. The Gonds also have a tradition of painting the walls and floors of their huts during important Hindu festivities. They draw scenes from religion and myth, as well as natural objects. Each artist has a different ‘signature’ – the patterns of dots and dashes they use to fill in paintings – which makes their work distinct. Contemporary Gond artists want to preserve tradition and depict contemporary life. In the work of artist Venkat Raman Singh Shyam, the ancient and the modern coexist alongside each other. He’s just as likely to paint a picture of a computer or a cycle rickshaw as he is an ancient deity.

    The process of creation of Gond paintings can be described as ‘on line work’. Art is created out of carefully drawn lines. Lines are used in such a way to convey a sense of movement to still images. Dots and dashes are added to impart a greater sense of movement and increase the amount of detail. Another very striking facet of Gond paintings is the use of bright vivid colors such as white, red, blue and yellow. The paints or pigments are usually derived naturally from objects such as charcoal, colored soil, plant sap, mud, flowers, leaves and even cow dung. That said, due to the scarcity of natural colors, Gond artists have begun to use poster colors and use canvas to paint on. Gond paintings bear a remarkable likeness aboriginal art from Australia as both styles use dots to create the painting. Today, many talented Gond artists’ works including Suresh Kumar Dhurve’s can be seen on canvases in art galleries internationally. One of the distinctive elements is the use of signature patterns that are used to infill the larger forms on the canvas. A certain sense of balance and symmetry can be observed in the pattern used, such as spiral forms along with trees, leaves, animals and human figures. Painted in several bright colors, the placement of motifs showcasing village life and the blending of human figures with rituals and nature depict the Gond’s inherited skills and creativity. As well as helping preserve the tradition of Gond tribal art, it’s also important to celebrate and encourage its contemporary evolution.

    The history of the Gond people dates nearly 1400 years. Paintings as well as other art forms have always been quite popular with tribal people in India, especially the Gond tribe. The Gond people have a belief that viewing a good image begets good luck and they decorate their walls and the floor of their houses with traditional tattoos and motifs. Among the Gond, it is the most prominent among the Pardhan Gonds who are renowned for their artistic skills, be it painting or music. Gond paintings have also been used by the Gond people as a way to record their history. The Gond are also known as the Raj Gond. The term was widely used in 1950s, but has now become almost obsolete, probably because of the political eclipse of the Gond Rajas. The Gondi language is closely related to the Telugu, belonging to the Dravidian family of languages. 

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