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Friday, April 13, 2001

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Combination of fun and function

MANASTHALA PRESENTS a `package' of folk art and craft in a delightful exhibition-cum-sale of everyday functional and fun craft objects, as well as a show of children's paintings celebrating the folk tales and legends of India full of colour, warmth and charm.

The crayons, water colour and `pop-up' art on the folk heritage of India was done by children during workshops conducted by Manasthala, based on verbal stories of the country's storehouse of folk tales, myths and legends.

The paintings are vibrant, full of colour and imagination and they have touches of humour too! Here, as in folklore, the gods and goddesses sweat, sneeze and are occasionally less than perfect.

The lines written by children, a la comic strips, are as colourful as the art work. The combination of computers and ancient gods definitely takes art to a new level and into a new millennium.

A `Village Shandy', humming with folk craft, is part of Manasthala's folklore exhibition. Colourful Etikopakka rattles, `catch a ball' games, pencil heads and games of noughts and crosses vie for attention with skipping ropes with etikopakka craft handles.

And for those who have forgotten the look and feel of old fashioned tops there is a dazzling choice of brightly coloured local and etikopakka tops.

The `Village Haat' exhibition cum sale also has lovely wooden puppets made by master puppeteer, Ranganatha Rao, terracotta mobiles from Pondicherry as well as a beautiful choice of wooden country combs. Exquisitely handcrafted, each comb is an individual piece of art, with receptacles for storing oil, etc.

Terracotta animal forms and toys and pretty terracotta jewellery give a `chic' touch to the village shandy!

There are puppets made out of felt and filled with sand, giving them a sense of movement and realism. Palm leaf boxes and toys, bead boxes and lots of vividly coloured papier mache toys add a true rural touch to the exhibition.

And for old timers looking for simple fun, Manasthala has `daya kattam', `pallanguzhi' and `paramapadam' featuring gods and goddesses, played with terracotta folk symbols...

The folk exhibition which opens on April 16 at Manasthala (12 Cenotaph Road, Alwarpet), will also present a variety of books on Indian folk lore and myth. The exhibition concludes on April 21.

PUSHPA CHARI

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