Sunday, February 7, 2010

Intricate Chittara paintings by Shimoga artist

National award winner Hasuvanthe Ishwar Naik, hailing from Sagar, Shimoga district, is imparting training in traditional Chittara painting at Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (IGRMS) under the 'Do & Learn' series. The 10-day training programme, which began on Dec. 22, will conclude tomorrow. SOM had a tête-à-tête with the awardee. Excerpts:
Chittaras are wall paintings done by tribal women of Malnad Deevaru community for special occasions such as weddings, festivals and other auspicious days portraying flora, fauna and natural environs.
The lines and patterns on these paintings each symbolise an aspect of nature or depict the religious, social or agricultural practices of the community. They show the scenes of daily village life, their ceremonies, deities, birds of the region and the toys children play with.
"For the women of Deevaru community, Chittara paintings are a source of great joy and creativity. They are proud of their tradition, socially-bound and culturally integrated by unique customs and ritualistic practices. The painting is a compulsory decoration in all houses of the community. We use natural colours, getting them from barks of trees, rocks, minerals and vegetables. For red colour we use fine red mud, for white- rice flour and for black, burnt rice floor," said Ishwar who learnt this art from his mother.
"We also make decorative artifacts with the characteristic Chittara motifs on them like the butti (cane baskets plastered with red mud), pen stands (made of bamboo), madake (clay pots), torans (door hangings made of dried paddy), hidi (small broom made of hittade grass), sibala (baskets made of hittade grass), pettige (small box), irike (doughnut shaped ring of woven grass), eechala chaape (palm mat) etc., adds Ishwar Naik who has done his Diploma in Theatre Art from Ninaasam.
"I was very much interested in Chittara paintings and made it my profession in 1998. I also started Chittara Chawadi, an association to train tribal and other women. I hope Chittara will continue to grow not just on mud-plastered walls of the villages but also on the walls of urban homes," adds Ishwar who has won the National Award for Master Craftsperson and Weavers (1998-99), presented in New Delhi.
"This design can be created on lac, wood and marketed to urban buyers. I have trained more than 200 students in Mysore. Our efforts have been worthwhile, thanks to IGRMS which has encouraged me to hold exhibition of Chittara paintings," says Ishwar.
He may be contacted over Mob: 94492-05209 or 94819-35579.
[Wednesday 30th December 2009]

1 comment:

  1. Hello my name is Dani, an intern at a small museum in Texas, and I am writing you in regards to an item that we have here in our collection that we cannot seem to gather any solid information about, and the closest lead we did find, was your webpage describing an item known as an Irike (doughnut shaped ring of woven grass). The first question I have is if you could describe what an Irike is used for, as I have found nothing more than an acknowledgement of it online. The item that we have here is almost identical to the description of an Irike, however it does not have any of the Chittara style art motifs, that would be expected if it in fact were a medium for decoration. In fact the only real decorations on it are a few bands of purple weaved grasses that appear to have been pre-dyed before the weaving process. My second question is if I may be able to send you some photos of our item and you could look at it and possibly determine if to your knowledge it may or may not be one of these Irikes. Thank you so much for your time!