Art Gallery of South Australia exhibits Gond Paintings of India from The Barrie and Judith Heaven Collection
Address: North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000
Phone: (08) 8207 7000
Duration – Now showing until 8 November 2015
At Gallery 21
The paintings of the Gond people of central India have gained increasing international attention in recent years and are exhibited at the Gallery for the first time in Gond Paintings from the Collection of Barrie and Judith Heaven. The Gond people are the largest tribal group in the world and their homelands are in central India. Over a millennium, or longer, Gond’s agrarian society evolved a distinctive aesthetic and religious identity in which ancient indigenous spirituality merged with more recent Hindu traditions.
Gond villagers traditionally painted the walls of houses with talismanic symbols, including forest deities, sacred animals and plants, using natural pigments. The artists first adopted the use of synthetic colours on canvas in the early 1980s. A feature of the brilliantly coloured paintings is the complex decorative patterns inspired by natural designs, such as seen in woven fibers, plant foliage and fish scales, which are unique to each artist.
Their paintings, often compared to Australia’s contemporary indigenous art, document the rich spiritual and cultural heritage of Gond communities now living in an increasingly urbanized world.