Gandhi Centre hosts Madhubani Art Exhibition in Trinidad
The Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Cultural Co-operation hosted a one-day exhibition on the paintings of Madhubani at Passage to Asia on Wednesday Feb 21.
There was a continuous flow of patrons who found ”the paintings original, meaningful and inspiring”. Scores of students of the nearby Presentation College, Chaguanas visited the show which was opened by Ms. Ramona Ramdial, MP for Couva North. A host of dignitaries attended including Dr Rampersad Parasram, President of the Indian Diaspora Council of TT.
This year, May 30,marks the181st Indian Arrival Day, since the first batch of East Indians were brought here from India, principally Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
According to Ashok Kumar Jajoria, Director of the Centre, the Madhubani painting/Mithila painting was traditionally created by the women of various communities in Mithila region of India and Nepal. It is originated from Madhubani district of Mithila region of Bihar, and, it is popularly called Mithila painting or Madhubani painting. Madhubani is also a major export centre of these paintings.
“This painting as a form of wall art was practiced widely throughout the region; the more recent development of painting on paper and canvas mainly originated among the villages around Madhubani, and it is these latter developments that led to the name Madhubani art being used alongside the name "Mithila Painting."
“The painting was traditionally done on freshly plastered mud walls and floors of huts, but now they are also done on cloth, handmade paper and canvas.
Photo : Paras Ramoutar
“Madhubani paintings are made from the paste of powdered rice. Madhubani painting has remained confined to a compact geographical area and the skills have been passed on through centuries, the content and the style have largely remained the same. And that is the reason for Madhubani painting being accorded the coveted GI (Geographical Indication) status.
“Madhubani paintings also use two dimensional imagery, and the colors used are derived from plants. Ochre and lampblack are also used for reddish brown and black respectively,” he said in an interview.
“Madhubani paintings mostly depict the men, its association with nature and the scenes and deities from the ancient epics. Natural objects like the sun, the moon, and religious plants like tulsi are also widely painted, along with scenes from the royal court and social events like weddings. Generally no space is left empty; the gaps are filled by paintings of flowers, animals, birds, and even geometric designs.
“Traditionally, painting was one of the skills that was passed down from generation to generation in the families of the Mithila Region, mainly by women.
“It is still practiced and kept alive in the institutions spread across Mithila region- Kalakriti in Darbhanga, Vaidehi in Madhubani, Benipatti in Madhubani district and Gram Vikas Parishad in Ranti are some of the major centers of Madhubani painting which has kept this ancient art,” Jajoria added.