These are traditional art forms from the Telangana district. Initially started as a medium of visual stimulation for the story tellers in the region.
The artists hosting the exhibition are D. Vaikuntan Nakash and his son Vinay Kumar.
Vaikuntan is a national award winning artist. His works hang in galleries in the country and also at the Albert Museum in London. He has also been part of the delegation sent by the Telangana tourism department to other countries to deliver lectures and talks about the traditional arts and culture in this region.
His son Vinay Kumar works with him now. He learnt the art from his father since he was 8 years old. Says Vinay – our forefathers come from the Ajanta region of Maharashtra. They migrated to Telangana in the 14th century and have lived here since then. They have been painters since then too.
The paintings are done on a red background with vivid colours. The colours are all natural. The red is from inglicum (an ayurvedic medicine), the yellow is from a stone, blue from indigo leaves, black from lamp soot. The canvas in made of khadi with a mix of tamarind seedpowder, white clay and rice starch applied to it. All the colours are mixed with the gum from the thirumani tree to make a paste and then painted on.
In addition to the paintings, the exhibition also has some other unique products made by the father-son duo. Masks made from sawdust is of special mention. Powdered tamarind seeds are boiled to make a paste and sawdust is mixed with it to create the base. The features are then drawn on it using the same colors as the scroll paintings.
The paintings need intense work. A 3ft by 6ft painting takes about 45 to 50 days to complete and ranges upwards of Rs.30,000. The old time story tellers paintings used to be 3ft by 60ft and would take up to 6 months to complete – says Vinay Kumar.
Now, to make it attractive for people, smaller paintings starting from Rs.300 are being offered at the exhibition. The show is on till July 1.