BANGALORE: “A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament,” were Oscar Wilde’s wise words. A similar ‘unique’ temperament of 50-odd artistes is up for grabs in the city, including works of state and national award winners. Organised by the Central Cottage Industries Emporium (CCIE), the Cottage Mela saw art lovers turn up in huge numbers on Monday for its inauguration.
From time-honoured art forms to subtle contemporary styles, the ongoing exhibition features works of artistes who hail from small towns, to whom art is a way of life. Collectors’ items, artifacts, furniture, Tanjore paintings, brass crafts, sandalwood items and stone jewellery -- art aficionados can look forward to a great new year’s beginning.
Some rare regional and folklore art forms skillfuly crafted by artistes hailing from different parts of the country were on display too. Sample the Rabari work done by shepherds in Bhuj, Gujarat. “There is a huge demand for our wares as no machine is involved in the process of making them,” said V H Aatubhai, a national award winner for his extravagant carpet studded with mirror work, priced at `6,000.
Also, paintings belonging to the Madhubani style — a distinct art form from the Mithila region of Bihar — are currently on sale. A unique attraction at the Mela are miniature paintings made on century-old land records. Following a family tradition, this involves meticulous art work on land papers as old as 150 years. One look at these records shows that they really are old, with Urdu sentences and archaic stamps dating back to the British era. “We buy these old land documents from the Jaipur courts. Vegetable oil is used for painting on them. Later, these papers are laminated for preservation,” said Kamlesh Sharma, whose family has been doing this for decades in Jaipur. “Cottage Mela is in its twelfth year now.
This concept provides a platform for cultural and artistic interchange between artisans and visitors,” said Sushant Mukherjee, assistant general manager of CCIE. Cottage Mela is on till January 15.