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ReGENERATION: The Vayedas: Warli traditions and Tribal art

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ReGENERATION: The Vayedas: Warli traditions and Tribal art

The Vayeda brothers are reclaiming tribal art traditions; seeking inspiration in the nature-loving ways of their ancestors, the Warli tribe.

Regeneration [ri-jen-uh-rey-shuhn] meaning: The restoration or new growth by an organism of parts that have been lost, removed, or injured. Spiritual rebirth.

Mayur and Tushar Vayeda’s Stories of Creation opened to the public at the 10th Asia Pacific Triennial (APT10) of Contemporary Art at Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA). Seen at a scale and level of detail unprecedented in the centuries-old tradition of Warli painting, the series of paintings span across more than 30 metres in length.

It is in this ground-breaking context that ARTISANS’ presents the first ever exhibition in Mumbai of the indigenous Warli art brothers Mayur (29) and Tushar (38) Vayeda from Maharashtra, India.

In Regeneration the Vayedas seek to reconnect with their ancestors; to reclaim and reconstruct their ancient legacy for a new generation, and for the future of traditional Indian design.

This call for regeneration takes inspiration from natural and indigenous systems that heal and restore damaged ecosystems. The Vayedas use the vocabulary of Warli painting to animate their message while moving Warli tribal art tradition forward.

Artists’ Statement: “Our journey of life, began in a serene village, neatly tucked within the folds of that land, where two cultures distinctly envisioned by imaginary borders, meet. We grew up basking in the nature-loving ways of the Warli tribe and, that we were born into. We were surrounded by lush jungles, mighty mountains and playful rivers, which led us to ponder the mysterious ways of the universe.

We are brothers by blood, and brothers in spirit, bonded by our love for art and for life. Our parents sowed a powerful seed– that of education. We commuted to Mumbai to complete our degrees. 

In our growing years, we spent most of our time walking in the jungles, slingshot in hand, mastering our aim and letting our imagination thrive amidst the fresh air of the wild. The jungles, the mountains, the animals, together with Warli tradition and culture inspired us to become Warli artists, to capture the pulsing beauty of this fine world, and share its mystical wonders.

As a child, I was more likely to be found on the forest floor studying the miniature worlds of moss rather than gazing at the grand vista of an overlook. We find inspiration in the smallest of things - the way a shadow falls on the curve of a leaf; a flower folding up when its bloom is spent; the metamorphosis from fecundity to decay. The patterns and fractals of nature fascinate me. 

“We enjoy painting about these ethereal moments in time and space on cloth, weaving into them the stories we grew up with. This is our offering - to share the beautiful gift we all have - this bountiful life, on this wondrous earth.” Mayur and Tushar Vayeda