Sunflowers : Gond painting by Lilesh Urweti

Sunflowers : Gond painting by Lilesh Urweti

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Title :        Sunflowers
Artist :      Lilesh Urweti
Medium : Paint on paper
Size :        10” x 13”
Year :        2022

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Gond paintings are a form of folk-art practiced by one of the largest and most artistic tribes of India, the Gonds of Madhya Pradesh.

The Gond tribal community believe that "viewing a good image begets good luck"...this led them to decorate their houses and floors with traditional tattoos and motifs for centuries. Today, Gond art has moved onto paper and canvas with talented artists showcasing their signature styles, using the old tradition of fine lines, dots and dashes.

Subject matter of Gond art extends from myth and folklore to images of daily life - real and imaginary. Artists are also inspired by symbols from day-to-day life, for example a motif that represents dry, cracked earth or the delicate patterns in the cross-section of cut lemon. Gods and Goddesses, strange and exotic birds, flying snakes, tigers, dogs and cattle, breathtakingly beautiful trees. Since they believe that each and everything, be it hill, river, rock or tree, is inhabited by a spirit and, consequently, is sacred, so all Gond art is a form of respect and reverence. The paintings are a reflection of their close connection to their natural surroundings.

The style of Gond art can best be described as ‘on line work’. The artist draws the inner as well as outer lines with great skill so as to convey a sense of motion to the still images. Dots and dashes are added to increase both the sense of movement and the detailing. Colours are always bright and vivid, the paints being derived naturally from charcoal, flowers, coloured soil, plant matter and sand. Nowadays, with the use of paper and canvas, artists prefer the convenience and uniformity of poster colours and acrylics.

This is a unique gond painting touching on the very contemporary issue of the war in Ukraine. Sunflowers are the national flower of Ukraine, and the painting brings the message of "No More Wars."