Saturday, 30 August 2014

Tribal Women Artists Cooperative (TWAC)

Tribal Women Artists Cooperative, Sanskriti, Hazaribagh
The TWAC was formed in l993 from a project for creating tribal art funded by the Australian High Commission, New Delhi. This cooperative was founded and is directed by Bulu Imam, the environmentalist, who also happens to be the Regional Convener of the Hazaribagh chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). The raison d’etre for the founding of the cooperative was 1. To highlight illegal opencast coal mining and destruction of forests vital to the tribals as well as tigers and elephants using them as corridors, 2. For highlighting the prehistoric rockart of the region which is a continuing tradition in the art of the tribal people of the North Karanpura valley threatened since l987 by the opencast coal mining by the Central Coalfields Limited through the North Karanpura Coalfields Project which will destroy l800 sq. kilometers of forest and tribal lands and displace 203 tribal villages, and 3. To bring to the tribal women of the region a sense of strength in their identity and as a means of economic support in facing both official harassment in face of the mining project destabilizing their lives and the traditional contempt for these women in Indian society at large.  All moneys received through sale of artworks are divided into three accounts, A. The Sanskriti Welfare Fund for tribal women, B. The Sanskriti Employment Fund through which a third of all earnings goes directly to the artist, and C. Sanskriti Centre Maintenance fund. About fifty tribal women benefit from this unique self-support project which is being coordinated by Bulu Imam under the auspices of the INTACH, Hazaribagh Chapter.

Bulu Imam founded the Tribal Women Artists Cooperative in 1993 at Sanskriti Centre in Hazaribagh. From 1995 he began a series of exhibitions of tribal art works on paper specifically related with the harvest art of Sohrai and the marriage art of Khovar which he exhibited through the TWAC starting with a run of 17 exhibitions in the premier art galleries of Australia with the support of Australian High Commission in India. TWAC’s first exhibitions in India in 1995 were organized by Kekoo and Khorshed Gandhi at their Chemould Gallery in Bombay and in the subsequent years exhibitions were held by Pheroza Godrej at the Cymroza Gallery in Bombay. In 2000 TWAC had a one month working exhibition in Sydney with the Australian Museum of five women artists creating 14 murals on board which were placed in the premier museums of Australia including Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Australian Museum Sydney, and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. After Australia a series of exhibitions were held in England under the auspices of the Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London and thereafter a series of exhibitions were held across Europe- Museum of Modern Art, Boras, Sweden; Volkerkunde Museum- Dresden & Heidelberg; Museum Pigorini, Rome; Brunei Gallery, SOAS, London; Italian Institute for Africa and the Orient (ISIAO), Italy. To date over 50 major exhibitions have been held in major venues abroad across Europe and the UK and Canada many attended by the artists, in particular many mural painting projects in important locations such as the Museum Rietberg in Zurich recently, the Arts Atlantic Festival in La Rochelle  a couple of years ago, in western France, and the Vicino Lontano Festival in Udine among others.

These are rare paintings coming from the first collection made by Bulu Imam from the mid 1990s and are historic archival pieces which the buyer will always treasure.  The are sent rolled in protected packing in a hard tube by international courier anywhere in the world and are ready for framing.
Paintings on handmade paper with ochre acrylic 
Size: 22" x 30" inches

 Khovar comb-cutting paintings in black and white earth

Kurmi Khovar- k001

Kurmi Khovar- k002

Prajapati Khovar- k003

Prajapati Khovar- k004

Sohrai Paintings in Ochre acrylic (earth colours with commercial binders)

Ganju Sohrai- s001
Ganju Sohrai- s002

Oraon Sohrai- s003

Oraon Sohrai- s004