Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ethnic art gives a distinct look

At a time when culture is given a lot of importance, it’s time to go back to your roots. Ethnic art and artfacts specific to different parts of the country and also across the world are becoming popular as items of décor.

Mumbai-based interior designer, Akshika Luthra Hemnnani says, “People today are mostly well travelled and they pick up different works of art from the places they are visiting and use these items to decorate their home. Also fusion style is in vogue in interior decorations these days.”

Some of the popular trends are discussed below.

Warli paintings
These theme based paintings originating from Maharashtra reflect the daily life and activities of the north Mumbai based Warli tribe. In a background of a strong base colour, rustic tones are used in these paintings which give your room a vibrant look. Plenty of gold is used and though the base used is usually brick red, you can experiment with the colours. “You can opt for a black and white combination in Warli. A black wall with white Warli paint on it will look great. The other walls must be in white or crème and you can opt for subtle textures to make the effect more dramatic,” says Akshika.

Madhubani paintings
These paintings originate from Bihar. “In an off white base and black outlines, vibrant colours like red and green are used to fill the paintings. They look very good on panel works,” feels Akshika. These paintings usually depict mythological and natural events, including Hindu deities.

Tanjore paintings:
These also depict mythological figures and are an important form of classical South Indian painting. They look great when done on solid planks of wood. “You can decorate your wall panels by using a Tanjore painting. They have golden work and sometimes gems are used,” says Akshika.

Metal Work
The big dancing Nataraja or the idols of Ganapati continue to remain popular as decorative items for your home. While these originate mainly from South India, the Dhokra metal craft from east India are also very popular.

Outside India
Says Akshika, “African tribal art is very popular in interior décor. The tribal masks are mostly in demand. Then different wooden and metal statutes from Africa are also used to adorn a house.”

Facts to remember:
“Don’t have too many items cluttered in one room. The focal point should be one,” says Akshika. Instead of a drastic change in décor, if you experiment with these artifacts, they can achieve a new look for your house. “Also remember to have good lighting,” suggests Akshika.