Monday, March 7, 2016

AUTUMNAL ART AND OPERA


Hello
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.



XXXX

22 comments:

  1. Thank you for showing the work from India and giving such good details about its purpose. I'm fascinated by Indian art and mythology. It seems so colorful and kind of "noisy" if you can say that about art.

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    1. Yes, a good description is 'noisy' - almost all of it is incredibly bright, colourful, and full of activity. I will show one group, however, who work in a neutral palette which is also beautiful.

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  2. The Patachitra are fascinating. I don't think I have ever seen so many dealing with social issues before, how interesting. Thank you for sharing. I enjoy Indian art very much. I hope you are doing well, Patricia. Have a good week.

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed the patachitra - I find the social aspect of them fascinating too. A different form of Facebook! I am doing so well now, with the heat topping out at only 30C - so good!!

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  3. Andre Bocelli is a fabulous singer, and thanks for museum tour.

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    1. Hi Linda Kay, I found many versions of the Pearl Fishers arias, but could not go past Bocelli - what an exquisite voice! Glad you enjoyed.

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  4. What amazing pieces of art, so beautiful and so moving too. xx

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    1. Hello Amy, the APT exhibitions are always fun, full of interesting new artists and discoveries. I do enjoy touring the Indian works, and will do one more post about them. xx

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  5. Fantastic artworks. Thanks for sharing them. So glad you enjoyed the opera also x

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    1. Hi Michelle and Happy Birthday to your DD. Glad you enjoyed the visit to India! xx

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  6. These are some unique and interesting art pieces, Patricia. I really like the little red bird,it's sweet.......and the tree. :) I saw the movie "The Pearl" and it was a great movie. I'm wondering if this is the same performance?

    love, ~Sheri

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  7. Hello Sheri, of course, I had to take a pic of the little red bird, didn't I...
    I don't know the movie 'The Pearl' - you never know, might be the same story. xx

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  8. Tricia, what beautiful Indian Art. I love the food too, which I discovered after moving to New York City. I'm not sure how authentic it is. I imagine it has been altered somewhat to suit a Western palate, but it is delicious. And I will forever love Freddie Murcury! So we own a great deal to the Indian culture, don't we? It is very rich, old and soulful!

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    1. We enjoy the local version of Indian food too. As you say, don't know how authentic, but it is delicious. Glad you enjoyed.

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  9. Beautiful art Patricia. Those wish fulfilling trees look beautiful. I like the way the different artists captured them.

    Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog too!

    Madelief

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    1. Hi Madelief, I find myself looking for the wishing trees whenever I see some art which looks Indian. It is a beautiful idea. I love your blog: it is always a feast for the eye.

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  10. I really thought I'd commented here, but I haven't! Shame on me! This post is so rich, Patricia. All these beautiful art works and the concert too. I come here for the culture! What is lovely is that these Patachitra artists still retain this beautiful tradition. I'd love to see a performance that I could understand.

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    1. Ah, I do that too, Val. Busy times, busy girls are we. Glad you enjoyed the art and music. It was easy to understand the opera - the subtitles are so helpful!

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  11. It's so weird to think you're entering Autumn as we head into Spring. Still throws me. Lol! Such a fun post! Those beautiful & fascinating scrolls & then topping it off with amazing opera. Superb post Trish!. Blessings. Xoxo

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    1. When we were out shopping for plants today, I commented to Mr C that we start gardening at the same time as the northern Spring. And use many of the same flowers, too. Glad you enjoyed. xx

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  12. I'm afraid I'm playing catch-up again, Patricia, but I'm so glad I didn't miss this gorgeous post. The paintings are extraordinarily beautiful with their intricate designs and vivid colours. As for that aria from the Pearl Fishers, it has the tingle factor for me every single time I hear it. :)

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    1. What a treat to find lots of lovely comments from you Perpetua. I love the term 'tingle factor' - so perfect for this evocative music.

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