The art of spinning tales with scroll painting
BADAMPET, MARCH 27, 2018 00:06 IST
UPDATED: MARCH 27, 2018 00:06 IST
30,000 families continue the legacy of a 15th century craft
A picture speaks a thousand words, they say. And if you come across Dhanalakota Vaikuntam Nakash’s scroll paintings, you will see colours and figures fusing to spin elaborate stories.
The native of Cheriyal in Siddipet district is among the torch-bearers of an art that dates back to the 15th century, when Vijayanagara empire was ruled by Srikrishna Devaraya (a scroll painting from 1625 A.D. was reportedly found with an art collector called Jaagdeesh Mithal). At present, there are about 30,000 families who are continuing the legacy of scroll painting and Vaikuntam’s family is among them.
They paint on canvases as big as 40 to 60 feet, depending on the story, and it takes two to six months to complete one. All natural colours are used in the process and the focus is mostly on Kula (caste-based) Puranas.
They have eight Puranas for reference — Adi Purana for Madigas (the story will be told by people of Dakkali community), Gurram Mallaiah Puranam for Malas (Gurrapu), Bhaktha Marakandeya Puranam for Padmashali (Kunapuli), Kantha Malleswara Puranam for Goundlas (Yenuti/ Jetti), Madelaiah Puranam for washermen (Patam), Nayibrahma Addam Puranam for Nayi Brahmins (Addam), Maha Bharata Puranam for Mudiraj (Kakipada) and Katamaraju Puranam for Yadava (Mandahechhu community to tell the story).
“The life of these paintings is about 150 years and we are sure that more than five generations will enjoy them,” says Vaikuntam, who was here to participate in a programme organised by Kudali, a learning centre for farmers. He and his family members had painted a scroll on the current farm crisis which was unveiled last month at Kudali.
“We interacted with farmers before working on the painting,” said Vaikuntam’s son, Rakesh