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How You Can Incorporate Indian Folk Art in Your Home Décor

Indian folk art in home decor

On a Friday afternoon, Rina ran into Suchandra in front of Central Cottage Industries Emporium at Esplanade.

They were college buddies but lost touch after both left college, married and settled down years ago.

“What a surprise!” exclaimed Rina, “What are you doing here?”

“I came to the Cottage Industries. How about you?” asked Suchandra.

“Still collecting art objects?” inquired Rina.

“Can we sit down somewhere? Let’s talk some more. Share our slices of life, would you?”

“Sure,” retorted an enthusiastic Rina.

After all, it was a long time since both went their individual ways. They have a lot to share.

Chit Chat Over Kochuri and Coffee

They sat around a table at K. C. Das and ordered some snacks.

Rina and Suchandra were fast friends in college. They started talking about their college days. Various professors and their idiosyncracies, going to the movies together, having fun during the excursion, and their classmates and friends.

After a long detour, they finally started discussing their lives: their husbands (and in-laws), children, and life in general.

“I heard from Tista (a common friend) that you are teaching at the Scottish Church College now,” said Rina.

“Yes, I was lucky,” agreed Suchandra.

It transpired that Rina has been working as an independent interior decorator now.

Suchandra was ecstatic.

“That is awesome,” sSuchandra was effusive.

“Why don’t you help me decorate the new apartment I just bought?” She asked Rina, “I cannot pay large fees, though.”

Rina agreed.

“I have got an idea,” she informed Suchandra.

“I will decorate your home with Indian folk art objects. You love collecting art objects…you will love it.”

“Wow, I never thought of that. Come to our home next Sunday,” Suchandra invited her.

In this article, we will explore various ways of decorating a home with Indian folk art objects.

Create a Theme

Before you decide to use folk arts to decorate your home, create a plan. Take note of places where you would use art objects. Consider their shapes and sizes.

It is also vital to use a particular style of folk art in an area. For example, you may decorate a wall or a room with Patachitra or Terracotta art pieces.

Pattachitra Art

Pattachitra art is usually associated with Kalighat in West Bengal and Odisha. It is known for its depiction of detailed mythological narratives using bright colours and fine lines. These paintings are made on long scrolls that are used as storytelling props, gradually getting unrolled as the story proceeds.

Apart from scrolls, various other surfaces are also used in Pattachitra art. For example, terracotta utensils (such as plates or bowls) or wooden plaques.

The best way to use Pattachitra scrolls is to hang them on the walls. Pattachitra-adorned plates can be displayed on shelves or walls.

Madhubani Paintings

While Pattachitra art receives its inspiration from Ramayana. Mahabharata, and the Puranas, Madhubani paintings mostly depict people and their association with nature and scenes and deities from the ancient epics. Usually, the theme of the paintings includes natural elements like fish, birds, animals, and flowers.

One large Madhubani painting can be a focal point in your living room. You can also use Madhubani plates and cushions to complete the thematic decoration of the entire room.

Phad Paintings

The folk paintings of Rajasthan deal with pictorial depictions of popular Hindu gods, human portraits, common customs and rituals, and the elements of nature. Some of the popular folk paintings of Rajasthan include Sanjhya painting, Phad painting, Pichwai painting, and miniature paintings.

Phad painting originated in the Bhilwara district of Rajasthan, India. It is a large painting on khadi or canvas.

Phad paintings make for a striking mural in living and dining areas. You can also incorporate them in the form of cushions, bed linens, curtains, and lampshades.

Gujarati Folk Art

Handicrafts of Gujarat are a beautiful amalgamation of stitches, colours, patterns, and embroidery. From colourful tie-dye to sophisticated wooden antiques, there is no dearth of opulent handicraft options in Gujarat.

There’s something special about the handicrafts of Gujarat, they are expressive, unique, and beautiful.

You can use cushions in bandhani style, or wall hangers decorated with intricate beadwork. You can also use Warli and Rogan paintings and they will never fail to elicit murmurs of appreciation.

Another unique artistic tradition of Gujarat is Kutch embroidery. It is a vibrant tapestry of bright threadwork, mirrorwork, and intricate patterns. Kutch embroidery wall hangings can add a lively look to your living room and bedrooms.

Tanjore Paintings

The unique Tanjore painting style is globally acclaimed for its way of creating a three-dimensional effect using gesso work and precious stones.

This ancient and antique art form is considered divine in its approach, as most paintings portray Hindu mythological Gods and Goddesses adorned with shiny ornaments and filled with rich, vibrant colors.

A Tanjore painting can be easily seen decorating a Hindu household. Tanjore paintings are ideal for pooja rooms or living rooms.

Additionally, they can be used in several ways, such as decorative boxes, trays, and wall hangings.

Kalamkari Art

This art form from Andhra Pradesh & Telangana is characterized by detailed hand-painted or block-printed designs depicting nature-inspired motifs.

It was first used to portray scenes from sacred texts such as the Mahabharata, Ramayana, and Bhagavatam. These paintings were often displayed as decorative backdrops in temples, depicting the stories of deities. Kalamkari curtains and upholstery are a huge hit among folk art lovers.

How to Buy Authentic Art Objects

To ensure authenticity, consider purchasing art objects from government showrooms, craft and trade fairs, or directly from artisans and cooperatives.

Craft fairs, artisan markets, specialized galleries, online platforms, and artisans’ workshops are some places where you can also buy folk art pieces.

Even if you are keen on a modern home interior, you can always complement your decor with traditional Indian art objects.

There are a huge range of choices and if judiciously used, they can make your home strikingly beautiful.

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