February 6, 2013

Design Feature:Nurturing walls

I am a sucker for mud walls.Ask me if i want to live with glass walls or mud walls i would take mud in a heartbeat!
We here @ TGE come across artisans creating fascinating products day after day. So when i came across this book i had to share it with you.

For generations, the women of the Meena tribe in India's Rajasthan state have been decorating the walls and floors of their homes with a stunning form of public art both graphic and decorative known as Mandana painting, using a white paste made of rice and milk to paint intricate motifs on these mud-brown mud surfaces. This remarkable craft is passed down from mother to daughter, and the drawings themselves often depict maternal motifs of birds and animals with their young.

 The book itself is a piece of art, printed on thick brown craft-paper that mirrors the mud walls of Meena homes and silk-screened by hand in Tara Books' fair-trade workshop in Chennai. Each image in every book is thus an original print, and the pages themselves emit the rich earthy smell of artisan craft.

 There is something very moving about the way these humble women are driven to be creative, in a lived, everyday sense. It gives us much to reflect on what we take for granted as the provenance of art: for one, their painting is not the unique creation of any single individual but a tradition grown in a community. The work is not produced for a market, but for themselves, as well as the community at large. And viewed in the context of their lives, art doesn't seem to be a luxury that has to be bought by opportunities and free time. --Gita Wolf 

Between the breathtaking silkscreens you'll find vibrant full-color photographs that offer a glimpse of the lives of these extraordinary Meena artists and contextualize the Mandana artwork in its place in the local community, revealing a kind of authenticity foreign to our culture of conjoined art and commerce. Nurturing Walls sets ajar the door to a fascinating world where beauty, community, and tradition live in their purest, most inspired form.


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