Gond - Untitled 111

by Gariba Singh Tekam
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Size: 45 x 34.5 inches
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Year: 2022
  • ABOUT Gariba Singh Tekam

    Born in 1976 into the Pardhan Gond community, Gariba Singh Tekam is a Gond artist from Madhya Pradesh, India. Hailing from the same clan as acclaimed Gond artist Jangarh Singh Shyam, Gariba Singh Tekam was encouraged to take up painting as a profession by Jangarh, which was the silver lining of his otherwise hardship-ridden early days. Gariba is also the youngest brother of renowned Gond artists, Narmada Prasad Tekam and Kala Bai.

    Jangarh Shyam marvelled at the forms and colours in Gariba’s artworks, many of which featured figures from the Gond pantheon. The principal deity of the Gond tribes, Baba Dev, and the sacred Saja tree where he resides, make up Gariba’s favourite themes. He also depicts Ghurri Dev – the sentinel of the forest – in his vibrant paintings, and recalls how, as a child, he would pray to Ghurri Dev and make offerings of wood or stone to the god, before entering the forest to collect firewood.

    Gariba Singh Tekam works with his wife, Prem Bai, at the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (IGRMS), or the Museum of Mankind in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. The couple looks after the gallery where Gariba’s painting of the seven Gond brothers is displayed. According to the legend, the youngest of the brothers became the Pardhan or priest of the Gond community – a story that Gariba has always been fascinated by.

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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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