When I first saw paintings by people of the Warli tribe, an ancient east Indian tribe, it struck me that an art does not need to be complex to be appreciated , it needs to reflect life. Unlike most other ancient Indian painting traditions that use vibrant colors and depict mythological stories in fine detail , Warli paintings express everyday life using extremely basic object forms and just one color – white – on an austere mud base. The Warli painting style is close to pre-historic cave paintings. It breaks the barrier of three dimensional rendering and the objects seldom overlap. It is interesting to see how a monochrome composition with rudimentary object forms like this can be so appealing.
The Warli tribe is located near my hometown where I spent 27 years of my life. I have experienced a life close to the Warli life style, travelling in bullock carts, applying cow dung on floors and walls, drawing water from a well and carrying a stack of water containers on my head. This rural way of life has been an integral part of my growing up and this is my effort to express it in the form of Warli paintings.
– Jyoti Gawade