I’ve just been introduced to the world of Warli wall art, and I just had to share it with you. Warli painting is a tribal art that is made by a variety of tribes in India. It is said that this painting tradition dates back to 2500 BCE!
Warli wall art is a graphic style mural that uses very basic shapes to create objects from nature. So it’s kind of a mixture of geometric shapes that re-create organic patterns seen in nature. These paintings are a part of traditional rituals that portray gods, godesses, and other spirits important to the beliefs of the different tribes. Warli paintings also portray different kind of events within the community, such as scenes of hunting, fishing, and festivals.
The goal of these mural paintings is to strive for balance in the universe. Each painting attempts to create some sort of symmetry between the objects and actions taking place in the paintings. The uncomplicated language and the basic technique allow for the ritual paintings to be done by everyone. Usually the Warli are done inside huts. The home walls are often created my natural materials such as branches, mud and cow dung. The wall is primed in a red tone before the artist begins to paint. The design of the Warli is only painted in white, it’s a rice paste mixture that could also be used for kolam. The brush is made using a coarse bamboo brush.
Paintings are often done for special events such as weddings or to celebrate harvest time. Mostly women used to create the works until recently. Now, the tradition has been more popularized and celebrated by mainstream artists to capture the artistic traditional value these types of paintings hold.
I hope that while I am living in India I can learn and understand more of the traditional arts that are found in villages and towns in South India. This traditional folk art form is particularly intriguing to me because of it’s simplicity and longevity.