Gond - Tithi Chirai

by Dhavat Singh
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Size: 35 x 28 inches
Medium: Ink and Organic Paint on Canvas
Year: 2019


Extremely vary of its harsh surrounding and afraid of the end of the world, the Tithi Chirai (sparrow) is a unique character in the folk tales of Patangarh, a small village in Madhya Pradesh that many Gond artists call home. The bird sleeps away from trees and worries about what might fall off them, all the while awaiting the day on which the sky will ultimately fall. And so the sparrow is ready to bear its load, and prevent it from crushing the world when the inevitable happens.
  • 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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