Gond - The Circle

by Dhavat Singh
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Size: 33 x 26 inches
Medium: Ink and Organic Paint on Canvas
Year: 2019


Goraiya lays eggs in a nest on a tree, trying to ensure they are hidden from predators. But they catch the eye of the King of Crows, who decides to eat them. Goraiya sends him to wash his face and wings, claiming the delicate eggs will taste better after. This sends the Crow moving in a long winding circle to attain the eggs - first to the well for water, who asks him to bring a vessel; to the potter, who asks him to bring mud; to the Earth God, who asks him to bring deer horns to dig; to the deer, who challenges him to get the dog to capture and kill him; to the dog, who shreds but needs milk for energy; to the cow, who asks for fodder; to the grass, who asks him to bring a tool to cut some of it; and finally to the blacksmith, who fashions him a cutter but hangs it fresh and hot around his neck, burning him. And so, the Crow’s greed brings his end while Goraiya’s eggs remain safe.
  • ABOUT Dhavat Singh

    Dhavat Singh did an M. Tech and was working as a professional before discovering the world of Gond art. When he got married to the daughter of acclaimed Gond artist, Jangarh Singh Shyam, he was suddenly surrounded by people painting all day. While he had admired Jangarh’s work earlier, he had never painted before in his life. But once he realized his talent and passion, he decided to become a professional Gond artist and has not looked back.

    Dhavat Singh (aka Dhawat Singh) pushes the boundaries of traditional Gond art by exploring and experimenting with the artform. He draws from the ancient artistic traditions of the Gond people, and uses them in his artworks. The folk tales that the artist grew up listening to are beautifully translated into his paintings. Singh weaves traditional techniques, beliefs and imagery with modern materials and visual culture. Always open to new ideas and regarding himself as a contemporary artist using traditional skills, Dhavat plays with the scale, palette and form of his exquisite paintings and drawings. Through his stunning and evocative art, Dhavat Singh visualises the myths and folklore surrounding forest-dwelling animals as told by the Baiga tribe – an ethnic group found primarily in the state of Madhya Pradesh.

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  • ABOUT Gond Art

    Among the largest tribes in India, the Gonds have a recorded history that goes back 1400 years. The Gonds are present in significant numbers in Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha, and their art is loved by connoisseurs of culture.

    The Gonds believe that a good image brings good luck, and it is this belief that can be found at the root of Gond art. Concerned with warding off evil and ushering in good luck, they decorate their houses with traditional tattoos and motifs.

    For the Gond, everything is intimately connected to nature, and Gond paintings feature motifs that depict their beliefs and rituals, life in the village, and man’s remarkable relationship with nature. Renowned for their vibrant colours and imaginative use of lines and dots, Gond artworks today are made using natural colours sourced from soil, plants, charcoal and cow dung, as well as acrylic paints.

    Jangarh Singh Shyam was India’s most noted Gond artist, who passed away in 2001. Several members of his family are renowned Gond artists, including his wife, Nankusia Shyam, children Mayank Shyam and Japani Shyam, brother in law Subhash Vyam and his wife, Durga Bai.

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