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Assam's Ethnic Culture: Through the Eyes of Women Artists

Assams Ethnic Culture: Through the Eyes of Women Artists

Sentinel Digital Desk

Workshop for Women Artists held in Kalakshetra

Bhavyashree Chivukula

Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra, Guwahati recently organized a Painting workshop of Women artists of Assam based on Ethnic Culture of Assam, titled- "CHITRALEKHA" from February 5-11, 2020 at Lalit Kala Bhawan, SSK. The names of the invited artists are Dr Jabeen Rahman Ghosh Dastidar, Rinku Chakravarty, Smita Saikia, Simi Das, Minakshi Borgohain, Manika Devi, Aditi Chakravarty, Tulirekha Dev, Arundhati Choudhary, Niva Devi, Payal Goswami, Pinaz Kawshar, Nilanjona Gogoi, Pallabi Sarma and Dr. Mousumi Deka. The closing ceremony and exhibition was held on 11th February, 2020.

Sharing her thoughts, Rinku Chakravorty said, "I would like to thank Kalakhetra for giving me such a golden opportunity to express my views through my painting. In my paintings, I have tried my best to express the beauty of Assam. I have expressed our nature beauty along with temples with the Blessings of Almighty. I have drawn Kamakhya temple and the famous tea garden of Assam. I have expressed this through mix_media. Most people are not geting enough opportunities to overcome their talent but I'm grateful to Kalakhetra for organizing such a wonderful event and giving me the opportunity to stand by their side."

Dr. Mousumi Deka said that she tried to depict the impression of manuscript painting of Assam. "Though I have used the elements from manuscript painting of Assam, but the expression of my painting is showed in modern concept. I tried to amalgamate the old painting tradition with the modern concept," she said.

The main inspiration is bamboo, ethnic design for textile of ethnic groups of my land, arrangement in different angles to create a different space, inspired by rhythm of nature, feeling of dissolving into different layers of customs practiced by different indigenous people. So I am trying to weave all colours in my canvas.. thus said noted artist Aditi Chakravorty.

Talking about the concept of her painting, Nilanjana Gogoi from Sivasagar said, "The name of my painting is 'Bhakti'. When it comes to Assam's heritage and culture, we remember Mahapurusha Srimanta Sankardeva the pioneer of Assamese culture. The painting reflects the visual arts of Satra's tradition and its elements such as Manikut, Simhasana, Garuda are included. The painting is one of the influential mediums to express the Assam's heritage and culture."

The Karbi totem Jambili Athon also figured in the works of Pallabi Sharma. She said, "The Jambili athon is a cultural specific art object of the Karbi tribe of Assam. It bears ritual significant associated with the celebration of death rites at the time of observing Chomangkan. Its origin bears with a love story. Ojaro the culture specific bird, the Bhimraj, is associated with the Jambili Athon."

Dr Jabeen Gosh Dastidar, one of the most senior participants in the workshop, said, "My work imbibe elements of scriptural forms, texture, structures and organization of the spaces. Though it's indirectly related subject wise to the given theme," Ethnic Cultures of Assam, within the scripted form of Axom (in Assamese lipi) we have an ornamental display of Assamese jewellery design and some such designs that are converted to textile too. The intention is to create an aura of harmony and implimentation of textures in the given space that can create a feeling of pleasure."

Tulikrekha Deb said, "I had a wonderful experience and memories in the painting workshop and I met various Artists who came from different cities. We exchanged our thoughts on the theme Ethnic Beauty of Assam. We explored our imagination and we did a lot of study on our theme. In my painting Musk, I wanted to show Majuli's Mask-making tradition which is fast declining. Through the mask, I wanted to show the various aspects of our society, the girl behind the masks who have duel faces, how people reacts with dual emotions.."

Payal Goswami from Assam University, Silchar, said, "My painting is based on the topic: ethnic culture of Assam. Culture is the very core part of our life which nurture and grow our thinking ability. My work reveals my understanding in a symbolic manner."

Talking about her painting, Smita Saikia said, "In my painting, I have drawn the Purnakalasha motif which is depicted in own style. Purnakalasha is auspicious element which is associated in culture of Assam. It is frequently used in religious functions of Assamese, especially in marriage ceremony, because purnakalasha or purna ghot symbolises 'Source of life.'"

The entire workshop was coordinated by eminent artist Moneswar Brahma.

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