Thursday, June 25, 2009
Eternal Gandhi – idols of world leaders made in Cheriyal
This was a short but fun project. Sacred World Foundation asked me to design dolls representing world leaders in a traditional craft style for an installation for their multi-media exhibition, Eternal Gandhi.
I collected images and began drawing. The leaders included Nehru, Martin Luther King, Mandela, Sarojini Naidu, Lord Mountbatten, Ho Chi Minh, Rabindra Nath Tagore, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel and Albert Einstein.
Once I designed the characters I began thinking of the ideal craft persons to work with in order to get the dolls made.
On one of my trips with my college mates in Hyderabad I remembered visiting the Cherial scroll painters near Warangal. They also made some masks which had a very distinctive look. I decided to head out and see if they might be interested in taking up the challenge.
I landed in Cherial with my file of drawings and a very enthusiastic friend, whose company made the 6 hour trip very interesting. It was not very difficult to find the artists as there are only two families that practice the craft in this little town. After some discussions Nageshwar agreed to take up the project and asked me to return after a week to supervise the finishing and coloring of the figures.
The dolls were translated very well in 3D form. They did not look comical but there was an element of fun to them. My friend Pooja Pottenkulam designed an animation film with the same characters. By the time the exhibition was put up I lost touch with Sacred World Foundation. I am yet to go and see the final exhibit at Birla House.
For a closer look at the dolls look here