Scroll painter Shombhu Acharya depicts scenes from cultural myths, rural life and religious events in his solo patachita (scroll paintings) exhibition Potchitra Kotha underway at the EMK Centre in capital’s Dhanmondi.
Shambhu explores diverse themes like Ramayan, Sree Krisna, Gazir Pat, Mahabharata, Manusha Mangal, Muharram, Rass leela and other themes from the local folk culture in his works, which are painted by placing the main character in the center of the composition with the supporting characters placed in geometrics enclosures around the perimeters.
Since the 12 century rural bards and story tellers in Bengal have used scrolls to preach and spread the myths and stories associated with religion.
Shambhu, who is the ninth generation of the family of practitioners of this art form, has devoted his career to patachitra. He creates his paintings using only local and natural materials like tamarind seeds, powder of brick, chalk, vermillion, egg yolk, and various kinds of earth colour such as gopi mati, tilok mati, dheu mati, ela mati etc.
A number of Shambhu’s works show rural men and women, cow carts, village huts, farmers, boats plying on rivers, cattle and others.
A displayed painting at the exhibition shows a flutist playing a traditional bamboo flute in front of a village woman carrying water pot on the river bank, while boats are seen at a distance.
The painting titled ‘Klantir Abosheshe’ shows a blue elephant in chains. The helpless animal it is trying to free itself from the bondage.
The painting titled ‘Kolaboti Bou’ shows a rural bride in a banana plantation, while the painting titled ‘Amar Adhikar’ shows a woman fetching water from the river.
Shambhu said he is trying to save the traditional patachitra art form through his works, ‘We do not have many pata artists there days. Through my scroll paintings I am trying to save this art form. All the paintings have been drawn using traditional ways and no synthetic colours have been used,’ said Shambhu, who learnt the art from his father Shudhir Chandra.
The exhibition, which began on July 8, will remain open for all till July 20.
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