Once upon a time, many many eons ago, a team of singers, musicians and painters moved from village to village to enact the stories of Hindu mythology in the form of street plays. “Chitrakattis”, as they were gloriously called sourced their livelihood from these plays.
These artists enthralled their audiences with stories from the epics Ramayana & Mahabharatha. People thronged to see them perform and there are even instances of villagers travelling long distances to see these eclectic entertainers.
It so happened, just like any craft looking for advancement and improvements, these artists thought of a brilliant idea to heighten the excitement in their audiences. The idea was to have huge painted panels to enliven their performances (hey, the birth of cinematography?). This innovation brought in audiences by droves, from far and near. What a sight it must have been!
Huge bolts of canvas painted with basic means and dyes extracted from plants. People were in awe at this spectacular display of artwork. It seemed like the artists conjured up the images from thin air and that God was channeling himself through these artistes. And maybe he was, because some of these artists were known to say “I do nothing. It is the divine nature that creates. I am just an instrument.”
Picture after picture of Gods, nature, demons and such flowed from the brushes of these geniuses. And KALAMKARI was born! We at MasterWeaver attempt to recreate some of that magic for you.