Prachi Bhagwat, Official ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival Blogger
The tenth edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival marked the third year of their collaboration with Ojas Art in presenting the Ojas Art Award. This year’s recipients were Ladubai and Subhash Amaliyar Bhil, who are practitioners of the Bhil Pithora Art Form, a tribal artform of the Bhil community, in Madhya Pradesh.
The session opened with both recipients demonstrating their art form to a packed venue. Sanjoy Roy, Producer of the Jaipur Literature Festival, then took to the stage and thanked the artists for ‘sharing their work and urged them to continue practicing their art form.’ He explained that the award was instituted with the intention of providing those art forms with a platform which needed support from the wider arts community.
Also present at the ceremony was Sean Anderson, associate curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He shared that it was ‘incredibly important’ that such ‘remarkable artists’ were being recognised who he believed to be akin to the scores of writers that were speaking at the festival.‘The nation must continue to respect and pay attention to its artists,’ he said.
Ladubai has been practicing Bhil Pithora Art from the age of twelve and is self-taught. She has been recognised for her work on a number of occasions in the past. Subhash Amaliyar Bhil, on the other hand, was taught the art form by his mother, Gangubai. Both artists live in Bhopal but originally belong to the Jambuva area, which is native to the Bhil community.
In the coming months, both their bodies of work will be showcased at the Ojas Art Gallery in Delhi and will subsequently travel overseas. Presently, their artwork is on display throughout the festival premises. Anand Nath, representing Ojas Art, hopes to continue to support many more tribal and folk artists through the presentation of the award in the coming years.
Photo Credit: Rajendra Kapoor