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ELEPHANT FAMILY & LOOMAH PRESENTS

A GOND MENAGERIE from the jungles of Madhya Pradesh

Elephant Family is delighted to welcome you to our exhibition of work by Gond tribal artists. The Gonds are the largest tribal community in India. They are descendants of India’s aboriginal Dravidian people and they are mainly found in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Gond artists use patterns or in-fills for the outlines of objects and people in their paintings (often reminiscent of Australian aboriginal art). These patterns manifest in the form of dots, dashes, lines or ‘scallops’ (sometimes called ‘fish scales’). The paintings are used to worship nature, to seek divine protection, to ward off evil and to pass on stories and beliefs to future generations. Overall, the paintings are thought to serve a higher purpose, connecting the past and the present, the people and the nature that surrounds them, and the spiritual and the physical worlds. Until recently, the work of Gond artists has been largely overlooked due to their remoteness, and socioeconomic conditions which prevented them from being more mobile. Today Gond art and culture is increasingly appreciated by local and international audiences. This is partly due to a series of exhibitions (Paris and Japan) of work by the acclaimed artist Jangarh Singh Shyam. Since then, other Gond artists have also had their work exhibited internationally. For our exhibition, we are pleased to introduce the work of emerging artists such as Chitrakant Shyam, Nilesh Khushram, Sanu Tekam, Santosh Shyam and Sunil Shyam. The paintings, and Loomah’s magnificent rugs, celebrate traditional Gond motifs such as: elephants, Palash and Mahua trees, cattle and birds. These symbols, which once adorned the walls of Gond houses in natural pigments, now find new expression in acrylic paint on canvas and paper - and in pure New Zealand wool. We hope that you enjoy these works as much as we do. And remember that the proceeds from this exhibition benefit Elephant Family in its ongoing struggle to protect Asia’s rapidly dwindling populations of wild elephants. Elephant Family 2018


ELEPHANT FAMILY & LOOMAH PRESENTS

A GOND MENAGERIE from the jungles of Madhya Pradesh

1. Blue Tailed Tiger - SOLD This striking and quintessentially Gond work by Santosh Tekam depicts a tiger with a difference. Tiger stripes contrast with intricate scallops and a blue tail. Acrylic on paper, 29 x 37 cms £250

3. Hungry Haathi - SOLD Sanu Tekam’s charming elephant, with its typically Gond, scallop-pattern decoration, is busy foraging. An adult Asian elephant spends 80% of its time eating. Acrylic on paper, 38.5 x 30 cms £250

2. Blue Elephant - SOLD Sanu Tekam’s tubby elephant, with legs akimbo, has a naïve charm. Adult Asian elephants need to consume around 150 kilogrammes of vegetation every day. Acrylic on paper, 30 x 38 cms £250

4. The Trojan Elephant - SOLD In this captivating image, Ram Kumar Shyam combines the power of India’s elephants and its trains, the carriages often painted in these same shades of blue. But speeding trains can be a threat to wild elephants and Elephant Family continues its campaign to slow them down. Acrylic on paper, 33 x 23 cms £150


ELEPHANT FAMILY & LOOMAH PRESENTS

A GOND MENAGERIE from the jungles of Madhya Pradesh

5. Pink Flock - SOLD Deepak Dhurwey presents twenty multicoloured birds against a deep pink background. Whether shown in flight, or perhaps feeding on the ground, they look up watchfully, in typical Gond style. Acrylic on paper, 34 x 23 cms £150

7. Flight to the Sun - SOLD In this enchanting illustration, Santosh Uikey depicts three human-faced birds in flight, reminding us of the Gond myth about a magical cow that helps his human family to reach the sun. Acrylic on paper, 24.5 x 35 cms £200

6. The Catfish Sunil Shyam’s languid catfish swirls around his smaller companions, the detailed grey scales and fins pleasingly complemented by the calm blue of the background. Acrylic on paper, 34 x 23 cms £200

8. Bird on Nest - SOLD Many familiar features of Gond art are here in Janty Uikey’s small painting of a nesting bird. Contrasting colours, scalloped details and sinuous branches combine to celebrate the interconnectedness of nature. Acrylic on paper, 22.2 x 32.5 cms £200


ELEPHANT FAMILY & LOOMAH PRESENTS

A GOND MENAGERIE from the jungles of Madhya Pradesh

9. Bird Plant - SOLD The work of Sunil Shyam often exemplifies the playful and unpredictable style of Gond art. This is not an eccentric resident of Dindori village, but a mythic bird in strange communion with plants. Acrylic on paper, 23 x 33 cms £200

11. Beneath the Palash A classic Gond image by Deepak Dhurwey: Four friends – elephant, bird, lizard and butterfly – congregate beneath the Palash or ‘flame of the forest’ tree (Butea monosperma). Acrylic on paper, 25.5 x 33.5 cms £200

10. Peacocks in the Palash - SOLD Deepak Dhurwey’s irresistible elephant, with festive face and wobbly legs, stands beneath three vibrant peacocks, and the delicate flowers and leaves of a Palash tree. Acrylic on paper, 25.5 x 33.5 cms £200

12. Orange Peacock In Gond art, the flamboyant colours of the real peacock are often ignored. Suresh Kushram goes for shades of orange, red and blue, framed by an extravagant display of tail feathers. Acrylic on paper, 22 x 29 cms £200


ELEPHANT FAMILY & LOOMAH PRESENTS

A GOND MENAGERIE from the jungles of Madhya Pradesh 13. No lot

14. Blue Peacock Proudly enveloped in his delicately scalloped grey tail, Suresh Kushram’s peacock is resplendent in shades of blue and green. Acrylic on paper, 22 x 29 cms £200

16. The Flirtatious Elephant - SOLD Pure Gond style in Sunil Shyam’s portrait of a flirtatious elephant, happily eating a blue-leafed branch. Elmer the Elephant’s exotic cousin. Acrylic on paper, 33 x 23.5 cms £200

15. Collecting Water (3 images) Three simple images from Sunil Shyam tell a salutary tale. The villager, collecting water, is watched by a tiger, hidden in the reeds, but protected from harm by the alert peacock. Acrylic on paper, each 8 x 15.5 cms Set: £150

17. Four Studies in Red & Grey Balram Pusham is not a prolific artist but his work is admired in Dindori for its intricacy and detail. We are delighted to offer four of his images together in a harmonious group. Acrylic on paper, each 17.5 x 17.5 cms Set: £450 (Single: £125)


ELEPHANT FAMILY & LOOMAH PRESENTS

A GOND MENAGERIE from the jungles of Madhya Pradesh

18. Three Animal Studies Mitlesh Shyam presents three carefully executed studies, in inimitable Gond style, of an elephant, a cow and a pair of tiger cubs. Hung like this, the cubs look out at their neighbours to left and right. Acrylic on paper, 23.5 x 16 cms Set: £550 (Single: £200) 19. Blue Antler Deer - SOLD A recurring Gond motif that underlines the interconnectedness of the natural world, this charming chital deer (Axis axis) sprouts branches and leaves instead of antlers. Acrylic on paper, 25 x 35.5 cms £200

20. Resting Elephant - SOLD Happily resting beneath the shade of a Palash tree (‘flame of the forest’), Nilesh Kushram’s elephant is decorated in contrasting shades of brown and green. Acrylic on paper, 17 x 24 cms £175

21. Elephant & Ants - SOLD Deepak Dhurwey’s enchanting picture depicts a surprising fact: elephants are always cautious of ants because they don’t want them to crawl inside their sensitive trunks. Acrylic on paper, 16.5 x 11.5 cms £100


ELEPHANT FAMILY & LOOMAH PRESENTS

A GOND MENAGERIE from the jungles of Madhya Pradesh

22. Ghost Tree Peacock In this beautiful and strikingly original canvas, Nilesh Khushram depicts the locally famous ‘ghost tree’ (Sterculia urens), whose bark changes according to the seasons. In winter the pale colour shines dimly at night, hence the nickname. Despite the delicate tracery, contrasting with a black field, the eye is inevitably drawn to the vibrant colours of a peacock who shelters, apparently beneath the tree’s roots. Acrylic on canvas, 25.5 x 91 cms £450

23. Home for All Bold colours and a lively composition unite in Santosh Shyam’s compelling celebration of nature’s unbroken web of life. A pair of barasingha deer (Rucervus duvaucelii) look up into the deep shade of a Mahua tree (Madhuca longifolia), where two pairs of birds are perched. A classic and timeless expression of the Gond artistic tradition. Acrylic on canvas, 66 x 82 cms £750


ELEPHANT FAMILY & LOOMAH PRESENTS

A GOND MENAGERIE from the jungles of Madhya Pradesh

24. Tree of Life Trees are integral to the lives and cultural traditions of the Gond people and they occur again and again in the imagery. Here Foolchand Dhurwey presents his exuberant masterpiece, with various creatures beneath violet and pink foliage and a radiant yellow-green ground. Acrylic on canvas, 58 x 87 cms ÂŁ750

25. Elephant Love With its multiple uses - fuel oil from the seeds, alcoholic liquor from the flowers the Mahua tree plays a central role in Gond culture. In his charismatic composition, Sunil Shyam has the tree growing from the head of a broken-tusked elephant (another recurring Gond image), flanked by curiously-shaped attendant birds. Acrylic on canvas, 37.5 x 89 cms ÂŁ650


ELEPHANT FAMILY & LOOMAH PRESENTS

A GOND MENAGERIE from the jungles of Madhya Pradesh

26. Mahua Sanctuary - SOLD The flowering season of the Mahua draws villagers to the forest from February to April, when they pick the fallen flowers from the ground and take them home to brew wine. But there can be danger present, especially from wild elephants surprised by human visitors. In his bold and beautifully executed canvas, Santosh Shyam represents the danger with a lion, a surprisingly common motif in Gond art. Acrylic on canvas, 44 x 35 cms £350

27. The Deer Tree In Gond imagery, deer and other animals are often used to represent humans and their close relationships with the trees of the forest. Sunil Shyam’s joyous group of four chital are on full alert in the shade of a Mahua tree, their colours radiating against a bright blue ground. Acrylic on canvas, 45.5 x 60 cms £400


ELEPHANT FAMILY & LOOMAH PRESENTS

A GOND MENAGERIE from the jungles of Madhya Pradesh

28. Ganesha Gond culture embraces both ancient animist traditions and strong Hindu elements. It’s believed that the act of creating, or even viewing, a beautifully executed painting can be a potent blessing in itself. Here Chitrakhant Shyam surpasses himself with a powerful homage to Lord Ganesha, flanked by his attendant rats and crowned with a magnificent (almost Aztec-style) headdress and crossed trees. Acrylic on canvas, 55 x 85 cms £750

29. The Trees are Alive This extraordinary image pulses with life and the almost audible song of flocks of roosting birds. But in Sunil Shyam’s striking canvas, the ‘birds’ could also be leaves, indicative of a typically ambiguous Gond world view where all of nature is connected, one species merging imperceptibly into another. Acrylic on canvas, 67 x 55 cms £700


ELEPHANT FAMILY & LOOMAH PRESENTS

A GOND MENAGERIE from the jungles of Madhya Pradesh

30. The Protecting Peacock At early morning and dusk, Dindori village resounds to the shrieks of peacocks. There is no more visible bird in Central India and Gond folklore is full of references to peacocks, their vanity and their supremacy. Sunil Shyam’s boldly stylized depiction shelters six smaller birds, a touching representation of a father protecting his family. Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 63 cms £400

31. Monsoon Elephants For many communities in India, the monsoon is a magical time of natural richness and rebirth. Given their ancient reverence for nature’s rhythms, the rainy season is a surprisingly rare subject for the artists of Dindori. Here Nilesh Khushram presents a masterful canvas in monochrome: joyful elephants running through the rain and clouds. Acrylic on canvas, 42 x 66 cms £350


ELEPHANT FAMILY & LOOMAH PRESENTS

A GOND MENAGERIE from the jungles of Madhya Pradesh

32. The Hungry Elephant Sanu Tekam is a talented and prolific female exponent of Gond traditions, and her work is much respected by the largely male artistic community in Dindori. Sanu brings a playful lightness of touch to her large-scale depiction of an elephant foraging beneath the rich green foliage of a Mahua tree. Acrylic on canvas, 64 x 87 cms £750

33. Elephant Power Snarling figures of a tiger and a leopard spring forth above Santosh Tekam’s quietly powerful elephant. Carefully detailed but simply conceived, Santosh’s compelling canvas is a masterful summation of the Gond’s respect and reverence for the power of the natural world. Acrylic on canvas, 68 x 86 cms £850


ELEPHANT FAMILY & LOOMAH PRESENTS

A GOND MENAGERIE from the jungles of Madhya Pradesh LOOMAH BESPOKE CARPETS & RUGS LIMITED EDITIONS OF 4 ONLY Loomah are at the forefront of the design and supply of traditional and contemporary luxury bespoke carpets and rugs. We are delighted to offer this spectacular selection of their Gond rugs.


ELEPHANT FAMILY & LOOMAH PRESENTS

A GOND MENAGERIE from the jungles of Madhya Pradesh

Gond Art Catalogue April 2018  

Elephant Family is delighted to welcome you to the world of Gond Art and this fabulous collection being sold in support of Asian elephant co...

Gond Art Catalogue April 2018  

Elephant Family is delighted to welcome you to the world of Gond Art and this fabulous collection being sold in support of Asian elephant co...

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