Time to have another look at APT8 - The Asia-Pacific Triennial at the Qld Art Gallery.
There are several hundred indigenous and rural-based communities in India, varying greatly in ethnicity, culture and language.
Communities such as Warli, Gond, Chitraker and Mithilia are known for their vibrant contemporary techniques, working in the knowledge of their ancient traditions.
Kalpa Vriksha is a Sanskrit term for a divine or wish-fulfilling tree.
From the Gond people, of the area around Madhya Pradesh comes artist Venkat Raman Singh Shyam.
Gond paintings were initially executed only on the walls of dwellings as an expression of religious beliefs and local daily life.
The mural of the tree is huge, painted directly onto a gallery wall, and stunning in its execution.
Shyam drawns on Gond myth, oral history and nature, using the characteristic natural symbols such as trees and animals, and animistic folktales.
As part of the current exhibition, there is a chance for the public to try their hand at tracing and colouring the traditional decorative motifs, inspired by the folk tale of 'The Woman and the Parrot'.
Patachitra or pats are scroll paintings from West Bengal. Historically, mythological or epic stories were painted on cloth scrolls, and artists would travel from village to village, slowly unrolling them and singing.
They are one of the oldest forms of audio-visual communication.
|Jaba Chitrakar 'Tsunami' 2015.|
Patachitra artists often illustrate contemporary news events such as the 2004 Asian tsunami. Above and below are scenes from three different scrolls, where the tsunami is imagined as a demonic god or goddess shown at the top.
L-R: Ganga the river goddess, the Bengal tiger god, and Kali the goddess of death and destruction devouring everything in her path.
Note the contemporary vehicle of rescue, the helicopter.
Depiction of the 9/11 terrorist attacks are very common:
|Jaba and Mantu Chitrakar '9/11' 2015|
The planes flying towards the twin towers also bear the face of the goddess of destruction, and Osama Ben Laden is pictured with his familiar pointed beard.
Patachitra are also used for educational purposes advocating birth control, and spreading awareness of HIV.
They are painted with handmade brushes and natural dyes from flowers, leaves, minerals and spices such as tumeric.
They are not sold, but retained for performance until old, when they are ceremonially gifted to a river.
We went to the Metropolitan Opera to see Bizet's gorgeous 'The Pearl Fishers'....
via live stream in HD at a local Palace cinema.
This was amazing - acrobats 'swimming' from high wires behind a blue watery screen. Gorgeous.
But best of all is the music, exquisite,
including the most popular male duet of all time:
Let's listen to Andrea Bocelli and Bryn Terfel singing their version:
Because we can.