Masks have defined us, defiled us, and thoroughly beguiled us over centuries!Masks were used for a wide variety of purposes across many ancient cultures. Some of the most common purposes were as funerary masks for important persons, as protection in warfare, worn during theatre performances,
or to be worn by impersonators of gods during religious ceremonies.Masks provide a window into the soul of a culture, and provide us with great conversation pieces for the home!
Some African tribes believe that the wearing of the mask can help them communicate with the animals and spirits of the forest. In West Africa they are used in masquerades, a cultural event such as a ceremony where the masks are worn to embody the entity that the mask represents.
The joy of making masks has been a cultural practice for humanity since the time of animism. India has its own rich traditions of masks – in every region of the country. Made and used during festivals for folk theater and dance performances. Kathakali masks, Yakshagana masks, Chau masks and masks from Majuli, Assam are some of the best known in the country.
Heart for Art brings to Punekars – Chhau mask making artisan Bhim Sutradar and his mask making skills. Chhau means mask – the most essential element in the folk dance-drama from which it derives its name. Purulia Chhau is a theatrical dance, which is often referred to as a martial art form. The making of these masks is an independent art altogether. The masks have a frank, simple and bold look.
BhimSutradhar, 38, is an accomplished CHAU ARTIST from Charida village of Purulia district of West Bengal. Bhimstarted making masks when he was 10 years old. As his interest in this craft grew stronger, he started balancing his studies and mask-making from a very early age. He acquired this skill from his father who was a well-known artist during his times. Bhim has travelled to places like Chennai, Delhi, Goa and various other districts of West Bengal and has participated in many fairs and festivals held in these places.He conducted several state level workshops held in Jan 2014 & Mar 2015 as part of Rural Craft Project, undertaken by UNESCO and Govt. of India- Ministry of Textiles- Development Commissioner of Handicrafts.
Several Chhau Mask making Workshops around the city – willprovidePuneitesthe tools to be creative and make their own Chhau masks and know the stories behind them. With the use of clay, cloth and paper layer the participants will create masks and paint them.The sessions will be fun, supportive and friendly, and the experience will live long in the memory of all participants.This workshop will be a platform where you can bring out your hidden facets on a tactile form as creative expression.
Participants can watch and interact with Bhim Sutradhar – a traditional practitioner of Chhau mask making of Purulia in West bengal.MAKE & TAKE HOME TWO MASKSat the workshop!
Padmaja Jalihal, the Founder Trustee of Heart for Art says, “Heart for Art provides artisans a platform to showcase their skills and market them to art and craft lovers around the country. We help artisans like Bhim Sutradhar get exposure and to spread their knowledge and artistic skills. We
facilitate the promotion and public awareness of India’s traditional crafts and heritage. After the success of introducing Odisha Palm Pattachitra, Patua artists and Gond painting artists to Punekars we now bring Bhim Sutradhar with his Chau Mask Workshop – this time to Pune and Mumbai”
Multiple workshops will be held in Pune and Mumbai– at the HOME SUKH, Ishanya, PAGDANDI,Baner, the GYAN ADAB, Kalyaninagar, theP. N. GADGIL & SONS ART GALLERY, Aundh, P. N. GADGIL &
SONS, Satara Road, the INTEGRAL SPACE, Lower Parel, Mumbai, the ART LOVERS’ GALLERY, Bandra, Mumbai.
India’s rich traditions of Art + Craft products have been under threat from western and Chinese products for a while now. Along with the Make in India campaign – a “Rediscover Made in India” campaign is required to get back our pride in traditional Indian products – including our arts & crafts!
Heart for Art is a Public Charitable Trust that’s doing just that – by promoting the traditional Arts &
Crafts of India. Heart for Art works towards bringing people arts and crafts from the best artisans of India, who passionately create them!
TO REGISTER and PAYvisit- http://www.heartforartonline.com/products/chau-mask- making- workshop. For details call +91 9370379727
The objective of the Heart for Art TRUST is to conduct educational, training and other activities on promotion of art and craft traditions. Promote art and craft installations in public spaces in urban and rural areas. The marketing platform for the artisans includes Exhibitions & Events, Corporate
Partnerships and an online marketplace (www.heartforartonline.com)