PICHHWAI ~ AN UNCONVENTIONAL ART FORM CELEBRATED IN CITY

Kolkata, October 14, 2014 (Washington Bangla Radio): Kamayani & Saloni presented ' Godhuli ' , an exhibition of exquisite living traditions of the art of Pichhwai between from 9 – 12 October 2014  at the Abanindranath Tagore Gallery (ICCR). The exhibition was inaugurated by Aloknanda Roy, Kumar Bose today. Hemang Mehta, a disciple of Pandit Jasraj performed Haveli Sangeet.

One of the objectives of the exhibition was to bring to the connoisseurs of Indian art the master pieces of the living traditions of this art form, which needs to be supported to ensure its survival.

 Pichhwai-Aloknanda Roy,Saloni,Kumar Bose,Kamayani (L-R).

                                     Pichhwai-Aloknanda Roy,Saloni,Kumar Bose,Kamayani (L-R)

The word Pichhwai literally means ‘backdrop’, but as a very unique form of the genre, it is embellished with Krishna’s image, often symbolically represented by the Kadamba tree, surrounded by cows, peacocks, lotuses, groves of flowering trees, lakes, clouds, the moon, and other elements of celestial landscape. Depending upon the time of the day or the festive occasion of the annual ritual cycle, Krishna may be depicted on Pichhwais with Radha, his divine consort, or surrounded by his cowherd companions, and women devotees, performing his various leelas of which the rasa-leela, or the circle dance performed with gopis on the moonlit night of autumn is very special.

The tradition of pichhwai making is at least as old as the Vaishnava cult of the Vallabhacharyas, but the traditions of painting/embroidery used in them are much older. In India these traditions are ongoing and have survived till date and the artists are producing exquisite Pichhwais even today.

With as many as 40 Pichhwai depicting the various moods of Krishna being presented by Kamayani & Saloni, commissioned over years from mainly artists working in the Nathdwara and Kota style of painting.

Godhuli is for the admirers of Krishna and for the connoisseurs of this age old living tradition of Art of Pichhwai.