Adivasi Artists' Workshops

The Adivasi Academy has carried out a massive documentation of Adivasi artistic traditions in visual forms. With the purpose of revitalizing existing practices, the Adivasi Academy has begun to holds interactive Workshops with Adivasi Artists at its Lakhara Studio.

The first Workshop Series was held by Bhasha Centre in collaboration with the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi in February and March 2014, inviting 72 artists from Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Odisha.

Encouraged by the response from the artists, Bhasha decided to create an institutional space for Adivasi artists to come together, practice and share their traditional practices. Towards this, the Adivasi Academy collaborated with the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Vadodara and organised two National Workshops in September and December 2016. During the ten day workshops, artists were invited from Gujarat, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. The arts represented were Rogan art (Kutch), traditional pottery, wooden and stone sculpture, bead jewellery (Chhotaudepur), bamboo craft (south Gujarat), Chitrakathi painting and leather puppetry (Maharashtra), terracotta (Rajasthan), Kurumba painting (Tamil Nadu), Sohrai, Godna and Paitkar paintings (Jharkhand), metal craft and carving (Chhatisgarh), Saora painting (Odisha) and sculpture and painting (Santiniketan).

Bhasha and ONGC decided to take the Workshops further and increase the reach and understanding of Adivasi arts by presenting it to Barodians. Therefore, in January 2018, Bhasha held a ten-day Workshop with Adivasi Artists from 8 to 17 January followed by a two-day Exhibition at Vadodara on 18 and 19 January. 35 tribal artists participated from Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar and West Bengal. The arts represented included Pithoro Painting, Bead Jewellery (Gujarat), Sabai and Madur grass weaving, Pattachitra, Clay Dolls (West Bengal), Ravanhattha musical instrument (Rajasthan), Jute weaving, Gondi painting, Wooden Sculpture, Relief Work (Madhya Pradesh), Madhubani Painting (Bihar) and Hase Chittara Painting (Karnataka). The artists prepared exquisite products for the Museum of the Adivasi Academy. The Faculty of Fine Arts of The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda collaborated with Bhasha for the two-day Exhibition which received a huge response from Barodians. Teachers and students from the faculty, Navarachna school students, doctors, artists and the media thronged the two-day event and had discussions and demonstrations with the artists. The artists had wonderful sales and left Baroda with a request to be invited again!

The Adivasi Academy at Tejgadh is a space open to artists to come. Any art or craft organization or independent artist wishing to hold Artists Workshop at Tejgadh with the purpose of revitalizing and promoting traditional and contemporary art practices of adivasi/folk artists is welcome to contact Bhasha!