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Sacred roots: Enjoy Gond folklore and traditions through art

Bhopal-based artist Sukhnandi Vyam's new exhibition in the city showcases the painter's cultural roots.

art and culture Updated: Aug 12, 2015 18:23 IST
Arundhati Chatterjee
Sukhnandi Vyam's work is deeply rooted in Pardhan Gond folklore and traditions.
Sukhnandi Vyam's work is deeply rooted in Pardhan Gond folklore and traditions.

During his formative years, Sukhnandi Vyam lived in a village devoid of technology and gadgets in the interiors of Madhya Pradesh. This was where the artist of the Pardhan Gond tribal community found his strongest inspirations. At an art exhibition, titled Sacred Roots, some of his creative expressions are being showcased.

Recollecting his earliest experiences, Vyam says, "We didn't have a meteorological department to inform us about the onset of the monsoon. Particular ants and birds would emerge only after the summer. That is how we knew we had to plant our crops, and that the rains would start soon. I used to capture these scenes in terracotta works and wood sculptures."

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The exhibition that has a running theme of mythical creatures, animals and forests.will showcase 50 paintings.

Although he started his artistic journey making terracotta works, with some encouragement from his maternal uncle, Jangarh Singh Shyam, he later moved on to making paintings. Under Shyam's tutelage, Vyam experimented across media, eventually landing his first solo exhibition in Delhi in 2010. Although this is the artist's first show in Mumbai, his works have travelled overseas to galleries in Japan and USA.

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Sukhnandi Vyam has tried to capture the life cycle and conservation of nature in his paintings.

The exhibition that will showcase 50 paintings, has a running theme of mythical creatures, animals and forests. Reflecting on the imagery in his work, Vyam says, "Individuals are influenced by their immediate environment. And, belonging to a tribe, I grew up amidst nature, forests, animals and creatures. They are an essential component of my existence. I am trying to capture them in my work - the life cycle and conservation of nature are some themes you will see at the show."

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Sukhnandi Vyam tries to capture the essence of Gond folklore through his art.

Vyam's work is deeply rooted in Pardhan Gond folklore and traditions. The artist has championed the cause of giving the audience a glimpse into the lives of his tribe. "Pardhan Gond is very rich in oral traditions and storytelling. I am lucky to have found such a platform to showcase my community's essence," he says.

Sacred Roots will be on display till August 18, at Artisans' Gallery, Kala Ghoda, 11 am onwards.