Santhal is one of the most common forms of art in India that originated in Bengal. It depicts various themes like music processions, dance festivals, harvesting, and much more about the daily life of the tribals. This art is not based on Indian mythology but on the locals and their surroundings. To discover more about this art form, The Circle Community conducted a workshop with Manju Bhatia.

About The Artist 

Manju is an eminent Indian artist whose paintings vary from different folk tales like Santhal, Madhubani, Gond, Warli, and many more. All her artwork has got recognition at various art exhibitions for more than six years. She was born in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, and has visited many places around the country. The experience she gathered through her journey reflects in the style of those places.

The Workshop Began

Manju gave a brief introduction about Santhal art and the methods used to paint it. She talked about how they were originally painted on scrolls or cloth. “Santhal is inspired from the nature that surrounded the locals”, said Manju. For the session, she wanted to recreate a painting called ‘ Dariya Macha Biya’, which literally means ‘Fish Wedding’. 

Manju believes that it is extremely important to know the story before one paints it. So she talked about the meaning and stories that the locals sang for entertaining themselves through art. With this, she began painting a doli with the fish couple and two other fishes carrying it.  The fishes were bright in colour with shades of green, red and blue. She filled the colours, gave it a black outline and painted details with a white shade.

Towards The End Of The Workshop

Manju gave a number of insights for the attendees to learn more about the art form. She also taught everyone how to balance colours when painting Santhal. When the attendees were hesitant to sketch, she motivated everyone to draw free-hand as it is a folk art and embrace the beauty of imperfections.

The attendees were from different parts of the country. They also belonged to different age groups but their love for art brought them together on a single platform. The Circle Community, as always, was successful in connecting artists and curating a magical and positive vibe together. 

On this note, here’s us signing off until next time!
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