The Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre (SVCC) at the Consulate General of India in Sydney recently organised a workshop on Gond art with MeMeraki and master artist Venkat Shyam from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.
SVCC is a part of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. Its role is to build cultural relations between India and Australia.
The workshop was a successful intersection between culture and technology, as well across two countries. Many artists believe that India’s Gond art has connections to Australia’s First Nations art.
Director of SVCC in Sydney, Niyati Mehta, speaking with The Australia Today
Artist Venkat Shyam and his late uncle, Jangarh Singh Shyam, a pioneering contemporary Pardhan Gond artist, have their work also exhibited in Australia.
Yosha Gupta is the founder and CEO of MeMraki. Speaking with The Australia Today, Yosha said that MeMeraki is the world’s first culturetech platform to take the work done by master artists in India, global, so that more people from across the world get access to these amazing artists.
Founder and CEO of MeMeraki, Yosha Gupta, speaking with The Australia Today
During the online workshop artist Venkat Shyam taught the attendees, including children, the basics of Gond paintings and also took questions from the audiences.
Artist Venkat Shyam teaching basics of Gond art
Students from the Sydney Sanskrit School also took part in the workshop and were excited to learn about this very ancient art form.
Students Sion Chakalabbi, Suchit Nandan, Manogna Ghanalinga, Ananya kolluru and Devesh Balakrishna
Gond art is a vibrant and unique form of art that originates from the Gond tribe of Central India. This art form is deeply rooted in the Gond people’s culture, beliefs and traditions which celebrate nature and the interconnectedness of all living beings. The intricate and colourful motifs of Gond art depict flora, fauna and mythical creatures and are created using natural materials such as cow dung, charcoal and plant sap.
The patterns used in Gond art are created using small dots, lines and symbols that come together to form elaborate designs. These patterns are often symmetrical and represent the balance and harmony of nature. Each design whether it’s a dot, dash or a line has its own meaning. For example the dot which is also known as ‘bindu’ in Hindi is a symbol of ‘Shakti’ or divine feminine power.
Gond art is known for its diverse themes which range from depictions of local dietes Baba Dev and Jalharin Mata, representation of spiritual tress such as Saja and Mahua, folklore and creation legend of Naga Baig and Naga Baigin as well as the depiction of various animals like tigers and deers. Contemporary Gond artists are also incorporating modern themes into their art such as depiction of city life and popular culture.
Attendees enjoying and learning Gond art at the workshop at SVCC, Sydney
Mala Mehta OAM, President and Honorary Founder of Indo-Aust Bal Bharathi Vidyalaya (IABBV) Hindi School in Sydney, also participated in the workshop. Sharing her feelings with The Australia Today she said that tribal art for her is very special as every line and a curve tell a story.
Mala Mehta OAM speaking with The Australia Today
Glimpses from Gond art workshop at SVCC organised at Consulate General of India in Sydney