GOND : Blue Elephant on white
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Size - 33"x 47"
Medium : acrylic on canvas
Year : 2016
ARTIST : RAMESH TEKAM
Ramesh is from the Gond tribe, the largest indigenous group in India that stretch across Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. He’s a tiny man with a huge talent, and loves nothing more than teaching his wonderful art – he has done that in schools and shows all over the country! The Gonds painted the mud walls of their homes, using natural pigments to fill their homes with images from the forests they lived in : the mahua tree that was the centre of all life, the animals they shared the jungles with, the birds they heard and the nature they were one with.
Ramesh is one of the pioneers who first took the art off the walls and onto paper and canvas to make modern art. Unlike other traditional art, he uses modern paints and material because the art is all an innovation. Bright colours and black and white lines are the foundation and dots made from the back of sticks adorn it to suggest the movement that is so important : Gonds believe that everything they paint has life. Ramesh is struggling to convince the next generation to continue with their wonderful tradition and he finds many ways to break new ground : he has painted walls in hospitals, schools and homes and looks always to find new ways to use his art.