After PM Modi’s response on being gifted a Ganesha made by Brindaban Chanda, the revival started of an artwork type that was almost useless because of the lack of artists and patronage.
Two years in the past, shellac artist Brindaban Chanda — the final in his household to inherit the artwork and probably the one in West Bengal to make a dwelling out of it — was all set to fade into oblivion alongside together with his craft.
That was when Prime Minister Narendra Modi occurred to go to West Bengal, and on the Kalaikunda airbase, an area BJP chief gifted him with a Ganesha made by Mr. Chanda. The Prime Minister’s response made it to the newspapers: “The Ganesha could also be small however is sufficiently big to characterize the entire of West Bengal.”
Mr. Chanda, a resident of Paschimsain village in East Midnapore district, then started receiving requests for the same Ganesha — which got here to be referred to as ‘Modi Ganesha’ — and thus started the revival of an artwork type that was almost useless because of the lack of artists and patronage. At present he makes anyplace between 10 and 15 ‘Modi Ganesha’ on daily basis — other than the standard collectible figurines of animals and gods and goddesses — and every prices ₹80-100.
“I used to be in Jhargram on the time, conducting a workshop, when an area BJP chief took a Ganesha made by me to obtain the Prime Minister at Kalaikunda. Immediately I discovered individuals getting eager about my work. Of late individuals from throughout Bengal, together with galleries in Kolkata, have been coming to my village to purchase my dolls. You possibly can say I’m higher off than earlier than,” Mr. Chanda, 64, advised The Hindu.
Brindaban Chanda. Picture: Particular association
Whereas he could also be higher off now, the identical can’t be stated of his artwork type. He’s the final of the three generations engaged on this craft. His son has discovered different sources of livelihood whereas his daughter, although she is aware of the artwork, is married to a household that’s not very keen about her expertise.
“I discovered the artwork from my mother and father, however my brothers selected different professions. When I’m invited for workshops, I take alongside some nephew or the opposite — however they solely assist me, they haven’t picked up the talent. There isn’t any one to hold ahead the custom,” Mr. Chanda stated.
His artwork type would have pale away way back — in reality, Mr. Modi would have by no means obtained his Ganesha — had it not been for the artist Mrinal Mandal who, for the previous 20 years, has been travelling throughout Bengal seeking folks artwork and who, for the previous two years, has been tenting in a village referred to as Lalbazar in Jhargram to show wall artwork to its residents.
Since 2015, he has organised a lot of workshops and exhibitions in numerous cities on behalf of the shellac artist, and it was at a workshop performed by Mr. Mandal at Jhargram in 2019 that Mr. Chanda created the ‘Modi Ganesha’.
“I needed to persuade Brindaban babu to barely enhance the costs of his dolls. Contemplating the price of shellac and the hassle that goes in, he was promoting them for ridiculously low cost. He requested me innocently, ‘Who will purchase if I hike the costs?’ I advised him that those that recognize artwork will. At present his demand is on the rise,” stated Mr. Mandal, who has now invited Mr. Chanda for an additional workshop at Jhargram on January 23 and 24.