Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra
Dayak Art has a unique character that is easily recognisable visually.
The swirls and curls that are used to create any picture are employed in the artworks of many Dayak subgroups.
The basic motifs and the elements that the motifs are made up of are common across all the media – bone, beads, thread, wood etc – and across the diverse range of objects that are used as the canvas.
Here are some works that have a very obvious commonality in spite of having completely different forms.
Example 1: Painted Buildings
And now here are some daily-life objects in which the object is as intriguing as the art on it is appealing.
2. Beaded Baby Carrier Basket Panels
3. Betel Nut Pounder
Example 4. No idea what this was … but it was pretty and so I had it – it has since moved to another home
Example 5. No idea what this is # 2 – but note the painting on the wooden part that is seen in the first 2 examples as well.
Example 6: Earrings
All of the above have aesthetic appeal. But some present the additional component of intrigue that is directed to the object itself rather than the art aesthetic!
But then the medium and the art are inseparable from each other and must be enjoyed as a single unit!
Most are objects from the past and perhaps by the next generation the use of the objects will be forgotten and if it were not for the art, the objects themselves too would have been trashed and lost forever!
Unbeknownst to the householder-artists the creative energy within that compelled them to decorate their domestic-use objects has led to immortality or at least an increased life-span for these objects!
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