Weaving tribal inspiration into the protection of Asia's endangered elephants:
Loomah bespoke carpets & rugs partner with Elephant Family
PRESS RELEASE: MARCH 2018
A new collaboration, inspired by the paintings of the Gond tribe of Madhya Pradesh, India, has created a unique collection of distinctive, one-off hand tufted wool rugs that will be sold in support of Elephant Family's work to save Asia's elephants. Based on original paintings by Gond artists Santosh Parte and Suresh Uikey, the rugs depict the Gond fascination with the interconnectedness of nature.
A broken tusked elephant strikes a grumpy pose; an ethereal Ghost Tree displays the pinkish hue of the monsoon season while shading an elegant spotted deer; an all-seeing owl presides over the forest and an elaborate patchwork composition depicts the symbiotic link between cows and mynah birds in this eclectic and fascinating collection.
"Originally, the designs were painted in vegetable and mineral colours on the mud walls of the village houses as symbols of good fortune. Today, the artists work in acrylic on canvas, putting a contemporary take on old traditions," explains Frederick Mark who was privileged to visit the local Gond tribal communities while working in India. It was as part of his ongoing support for international NGO, Elephant Family, that he brought the artwork back to London, inspiring the current collaboration.
"Elephants are so much a part of nature, their perpetual movement through the forests of Asia helps shape the landscape and the lives of thousands of other animals, and humans too. Representing that interconnectedness in art, and creating this collection of exquisite rugs with Loomah to support Asian elephants, provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to own a truly unique piece of art that has conservation at its heart," adds Elephant Family trustee, Ruth Ganesh.
"The collaboration with Elephant Family has created an opportunity to express traditional handcraft in a new medium," adds Andrew Cotgrove, Managing Director of Loomah. "All the paintings were closely analysed by our design team and the final four were chosen for their striking visual interest and ability to translate clearly in hand tufted rugs."
The rugs, along with a collection of original Gond artwork and a chance to bid on a custom made Loomah rug, will be launched at a special event on the evening of Tuesday 24 April in central London.
For more details contact:
Vicky Flynn at Elephant Family Becs Cook at Loomah
E: Vicky@elephant-family.org E: Becs@Loomah.com
T: 07980 135909 T: 020 7371 9955
About Gond Art
The Gonds are the largest Adivasi Community in India and can be mainly found in Madhya Pradesh and its surrounding States. Dravidian speakers, their origin can be traced to the pre-Aryan era. The word Gond comes from Kond, which means green mountains in Dravidian.
The Gonds traditionally painted on the mud walls of their houses. Starting in the early 1980s, certain talented Pardhan Gond, who traditionally serve as professional bardic priests, began transforming their ritual performing arts into a new tradition of figurative and narrative visual art: using a variety of modern media (including acrylic paintings on canvas, ink drawings on paper, silkscreen prints, and animated film) they have created unprecedented depictions of their natural and mythological worlds, traditional songs and oral histories. Rich in detail, colour, mystery and humour, these tribal artworks brilliantly employ modern means to evoke the pre-modern psyche. Gond paintings bear a remarkable likeness aboriginal art from Australia as both styles use dots to create the painting.
Gond Art shines a spotlight on the plight of India's elephants
Gond artist, Padma Shri Awardee Bhajju Shyam, is well known for his art and is a contributor to this year's Elephant Family, Elephant Parade India, a large-scale public art event in Mumbai that saw 101 decorated sculpture elephants shining a colourful spotlight on the plight of India's endangered wild elephants. His inspiration is to convey the message of peace and harmony and to protect India’s forests and animals. Known worldwide for his art of Gond, he has received international recognition through is book - 'The London Jungle Book'.
Padma Shri Awardee Bhajju Shyam Bio:
Bhajju’s first international exposure came in 1998 when he was part of a group exhibition at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris. Since then his work has been shown in the UK, Germany, Holland and Russia. Bhajju has received many awards: In 2001, he received a state award for Best Indigenous Artist (Madhya Pradesh), CRESCER Magazine 30 Best Children’s Book Award Brazil in 2011 and the Ojas Art Award in 2015. Bhajju Shyam has been conferred the country’s fourth-highest civilian award, Padma Shri in 2018.
Materials used: Acrylic paint and varnish
A selection of the decorated elephants will make their way from Mumbai to central London this summer as part of Elephant Family’s ongoing creative conservation campaign to raise awareness and funds for the protection of Asia’s endangered elephants.
To find out more about Elephant Parade India see: www.elephantparadeindia.org