VARLI/ WARLI PAINTING
Warli painting is a style of tribal art mostly created by the tribal people from the North Sahyadri Range in India. This range encompasses cities such as Dahanu, Talasari, Jawhar, Palghar, Mokhada, and Vikramgad of Palghar district. This tribal art was originated in Maharashtra and also practised today at nearby places like Silvassa (UT of DD & DNH) also. The simple pictorial language of Warli painting is matched by a rudimentary technique.
Stylistically, they can be recognized by the fact that they are painted on an austere mud base using one colour, white, with occasional dots in red and yellow. This colour is obtained from grounding rice into a white powder. This sobriety is offset by the ebullience of their content. These themes are highly repetitive and symbolic. Many of the Warli paintings that represent Palghat, the marriage god, often include a horse used by the bride and groom. The painting is sacred and without it, the marriage cannot take place. These paintings also serve social and religious aspirations of the local people. It is believed that these paintings invoke the powers of the Gods.
In Warli paintings, it is rare to see a straight line. A series of dots and dashes make one line. The artists have recently started to draw straight lines in their paintings. These days, even men have taken to painting and they are often done on paper incorporating traditional decorative Warli motifs with modern elements such as the bicycle, etc. Warli paintings on paper have become very popular and are now sold all over India. Today, small paintings are done on cloth and paper but they look best on the walls or in the form of huge murals that bring out the vast and magical world of the Warlis. For the Warlis, tradition is still adhered to but at the same time, new ideas have been allowed to seep in which helps them face new challenges from the market.