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The Gonds traditionally painted on mud walls of their houses and sometime in the early 1980s, certain Pardhan Gonds who traditionally serve as professional poetic priests began transforming their ritual performing arts into a new tradition of figurative and narrative visual art: using a variety of modern media (including acrylic paintings on canvas, ink drawings on paper, silkscreen prints, and animated film) they have created unprecedented depictions of their natural and mythological worlds, traditional songs and oral histories. Rich in detail, color, mystery and humor, these tribal artworks brilliantly employ modern means to evoke the pre-modern psyche.

For our first online workshop series, with Om Prakash Dhurve we focussed on the story of creation of earth by Bada Dev. The story goes like this – In the earliest of times there was only water all around. On that water, an old leaf would float and Bada Dev would rest on that leaf. After spending a long time this way, Bada Dev began to reflect on the absence of land amidst all the water. Bada Dev then used the dirt of his chest to create a crow. He ordered Crow, ‘Go Crow, and find land.’ Crow flew away in search of land and after a while he came across a Crab with huge claws. Crow had gotten tired with all the flying and sat down to rest on his tusks. He said to the Crab, ‘Do not lie to me. Tell me honestly where I can find land. I have come to take soil from the land.’ On hearing this, the crab secured Crow on his claws and gave him some soil from depths of the nether world. The Crow then gave the soil to Bada Dev. Bada Dev created a churner using a large vessel and an earthworm, and used it to churn the soil brought by Crow. He churned the soil well and allowed it scatter all around on the water to create land.

Om Prakash Dhurwey is a self-taught Gond artist from Dhindori district of Madhya Pradesh (India), who has been associated with the art form for over a decade. His USP is incorporating contemporary techniques such as stippling within the realms of Gond art.


Om Prakash Dhurve

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Date Of Birth17/03/1994CraftPAINTING | GONDExperience (no. of years)10Awards/RecognitionsNABased inMadhya PradeshShare

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