If you have only seen pre-historic art in your school textbooks, here’s your chance to have a look at it up close. A month long festival in the city — the International Rock Art Festival — will take you back in time to the primitive era through a number of conferences, workshops and exhibitions about the ancient and now rare form of communication of rock art. “It mainly includes primitive style paintings of human figures and hunting scenes engraved on the cave walls,” says Dr BL Malla, director of the festival.
The entire Mati Ghar, where the exhibition is taking place, is sporting a cave-like look for the festival. Inspired by the Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh, the cave, recreated with fibre glass and plaster, has primitive style paintings of human figures, animals, hunting and battle scenes, as well as processions.
The exhibition will also display paintings and photographs of engravings from different states across the country. While Bhimbetka rock shelters from Madhya Pradesh have been reconstructed with some exquisite paintings, the exhibition also showcases photographs of chortens (stupas) from Ladakh and the humped bull motif from Karnataka, thus providing a glimpse into the state of art in pre-historic times.
“The continuation of rock art can be found even today in Worli from Maharashtra, Lanjia Faora from Orissa and Rathwa Bhils from Gujarat. Artists from these places will also be giving a live performance on these art styles at a workshop here,” says Achal Pandya, faculty member, Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA), which is organising the festival.
“We will also have a team of 20 young scholar guides especially trained to show the guests around and explain the details of the artworks,” says Dipali Khanna, member- secretary, IGNCA.
Watch it here...
What: International Rock Art Festival
When: Dec 7 to Jan 25
Where: Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, 1, Central Vista Mess, Janpath
NEAREST METRO STATION: Central Secretariat on the Yellow line
What is Rock Art?
Rock art is an archeological term used to refer to human-made markings placed on natural stone. Such artworks are often divided into three forms: petroglyphs, which are carved into the rock surface, pictographs, which are painted onto the surface, and Earth figures engraved into the ground.