Ramayana, A Vibrant Visual Retelling
The name patti is given to an organic canvas made by the artisans of Orissa and surrounding regions. Its characteristic texture comes from the coat of chalkstone powder and tamarind glue on fabric. Of the well-defined colour palette, the reds and yellows are done first, followed by white and finished with fine brushstrokes of black. All the colours that you see on this work of art come from mineral-based organic dyes. It is a composite of diminutive images, each depicting a turning point in the epic of Ramayana. The one in the centre depicts the central characters surrounded by all those who love them. Note the precision and uniformity with which each panel has been distinguished. The interesting thing about the pattachitra (‘patta’ is the name of the rough-hewn canvas; ‘chitra’ stands for painting/image) of Orissa is that the edges of the painting are done first; then the artisan proceeds to his chosen subject.
A work of art like this would be a statement addition to any elegant home. The colour palette is vibrant, and comprises ample proportions of vermillion (made from sindoor), yellow (haritali), red (hingal), white (shells), and black (soot). Zoom in on the panels to take in the beauty and finesse of the miniscule figures therein. Clearly the artisan has a penchant for detail and a heart of shraddha (devotion) to be able to produce a brilliant composition such as this one.
WATER COLOR PAINTING ON PATTI
FOLK ART FROM THE TEMPLE TOWN PURI (ORISSA)
ARTIST: RABI BEHRA
72 INCH X 38 INCH