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    Sudakshina Ghosh on how a classic floor art now adorns bags

    THE familiar rangoli and alpana (the floor art of Bengal) are not the same thing says Kolkata-based artist, Sudakshina Ghosh, who plans to tell us more about the traditional art form at her talk, organised by Apparao Galleries at Sandy’s Chocolate Laboratory.  While in the past, the Bengali art form was ritualistic and traditional and made with fresh paste of charcoal, red soil, powdered rice, chalk or turmeric powder—Ghosh tells us that rangoli was made with finely ground white powder and coloured powders. However, there are alternatives today for creating an alpana, any water-based paint works fine.

    In other forms
    According to Ghosh, alpana was practiced only on walls, but today, the folk art has lost its ritualistic purpose and has become more of a decorative language. “The Santiniketan style of Alpana designs is now used in decorating utility items. Bags, cushion covers, table cloths, saris and other items are made using these designs in batik, embroidery, leather craft, etc,” she adds.
    All you need is a smooth surface. “It can be done indoors or outdoors. The alpana is not bound by any rules or regulations.” About the motifs, Ghosh explains, “These are pictorial images that signify things like the sun or water. Alpanas were created by Nandalal Bose from objects found in nature or folk art, but a style influenced byAjanta paintings.”
    At Sandy’s Chocolate Laboratory, tomorrow, from 5 pm. Details: 09686112078

    —Mrinalini Sundar

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