The writing is on the wall: Siblings scribble Warli language on the walls of Lodhi Colony

Born in the Warli community, the siblings Mayur and Tushar from Maharashtra with a genius for evoking moods and feelings took up a residency art project after acquiring the skills from villagers and their relatives.

Lodhi Colony has became a hub of wall muralist and stencilling for reasons no one seems particularly able to explain. Its laid-back environs and sense of rich architectural history most probably have something to do with it. 

According to them, the community prefers to call it Warli ‘writing’ instead of ‘painting’  as  Warli language don’t have a written script. So, everything about the rituals, paintings and other important things of the tribe is only oral. Still living and practising with the community they express all these stories, folks, religion and daily life rituals through the painting.

Warli painting involves the use of basic elements and materials to depict the stories of the community through  figures like triangles, circles, squares and lines. They  make their own brushes, use bamboo sticks to paint. For canvas they simply use cotton cloth and use cow dung and red soil. Natural colors are extracted from terracotta as warli is basically done in ochre color. 

They started without any previous  knowledge of such projects — but by and by they  come across with people working in the field of vernacular interiors and architecture and explored over the years. They took up the art residency project organised by St+art India Foundation, focusing on folk arts. 

But, there are many artists who are still ignorant about the ways and means to take their art forward. Projects like these certainly help in bringing the best out of artists.

Photos by Praveen Khanna

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