Tribal Art & Culture of Madhya Pradesh & Rajasthan
(Bhil & Gond Paintings)

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PRADIP MARAWI

GOND ARTIST of MADHYA PRADESH

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Pradip Marawi started painting on canvas when he was 20. His mother, Kaushalya is the elder sister of established Gond Pardhan artists Nankusia and Subhash Vyam. Pradipís inspiration, however came from Jangarh Singh Shyam, whom he considers his mentor. Initially, Pradip wanted to take an office job after he completed his studies. But Jangadh Singh Shyam was convinced of Pradipís potential as an artist, as he had seen Pradipís woodcarvings at the Art and Craft Camp in Patangarh, held by Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (IGRMS), Bhopal in 1997. Sitting under the peepal tree where Thakur Dev was worshipped, Pradip had carved images of the goddess Astangini Mata and god Badadev from wood. Pradip feels that the sanctity of the spot had made his carving so striking that it caught the eye of Jangadh Singh.

In 2001 Pradip returned to Bhopal. Everything changed when he found out that Jangadh Singh Shyam was no more. The news came as such a severe blow that for days he could not concentrate on his work. Two of Jangadhís paintings hung on the wall of his rented house Ė gifts from the artist to the house owner. The landlord handed Pradip the paintings, gently telling him to keep them. From then on, the two paintings became Pradipís teacher. One, was of a tree on which were perched several birds. The other depicted a kakbhakora (scarecrow). Pradip hung them on the wall, and sitting beneath them, he worked on his paintings. He would think of his village, Gar-ka-Matta, the vast stretches of land, the trees, the peacocks, the rains, the ponds, and with poster colours, would recreate these images.

Pradip Marawiís painting of the origin of Pardhans hangs on the wall of the Museum of Mankind in IGRMS, where he works. Though his journey as an artist began only 7 years ago, his imaginative use of forms and colours has already helped him to carve out a place for himself in the competitive world of contemporary Gond art.

 

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