Appreciating Contemporary Indian Artists

It is always a challenge to incorporate Indian art and artists into the curriculum for young kids and I am always looking for opportunities to expose the students first hand as much as possible. this helps them relate and appreciate the art in a way which can never be possible through printed images. A retrospective of the Indian artist Sakti Burman was to be shown at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Mumbai. I thought it was a good opportunity to expose my young students to his magical art, while at the same time teach them a new technique of painting.

Sakti Burman as referenced from the website of Saffronart, describes his style as, “Burman uses pointillism and a marbling technique achieved by blending oils with acrylics to create fresco-like works on paper and canvas. Burman’s paintings often evoke a surrealist feel, referencing multiplicities of time and place.”

Many of his paintings depict animals or birds with human heads, unrelated figures set in a magical, marbled surrounding.

Students began by analysing some of the works of the artist. They particularly loved the colours and the vibrance of the works. We started making marbled papers in various colours, which would later be used to create a collage.

While their papers were drying, kids sketched out their ideas of the composite figure of animal and human. In the next class, they cut out their figures out of the different marbled papers and composed them on a coloured sheet. When they were satisfied with their composition, they glued it and gave the finishing touches using coloured pencils.

The kids enjoyed the process and learnt about a new artist, whose work they are very eager to view next week when the show comes up.

Here are some of their finished works.


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