by Madan Meena and Gita Wolf

Nurturing Walls- Animal Art by Meena Women

Between all the drama I am glad to post about such an exciting book. This new book from Tara Books explores the traditional artwork created by women of the Meena tribe. The tribe, located in the Aravalli Hills of India, live in mud homes with tiled roofs. They paint graphic decorative designs all over the walls and floors of their village in white paint. This is a tradition that gets passed from generation to generation between women- mothers teach their daughters. The drawings are mostly of animals, birds, farm life and festivals but the authors noticed that “nurture” seemed to be a reoccurring theme in their work. They decided to focus on that when creating this book. And you might wonder what happens to these drawings over time: “Through all this, the artists know that the images will not last, and that everyday use and wind and weather will fade away the most beautiful and laborious work. Yet the outpourings continue, and it is like an awareness of a full life in the face of mortality.” This book does an incredible job of documenting the artwork. It includes many images of the artwork covering surfaces of all kinds, both finished and in progress. But the best part is that between these pages there are brown craft paper pages where actual Meena designs have been silkscreened in white. I love how these give the reader the full effect of what these designs look like in person. You can get this gorgeous book here

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