I was in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh last week for the ART SALUTE project. The whole concept of Art Salute is to celebrate the Indian Army in this 75th year of India’s independence. The idea of Art Salute is to salute our protectors via tribal arts and preserve our arts and heritage culture via story art.
The wall art incorporates themes related to the daily lives of Indian Army personnel, their activities during times of peace, flora and fauna, and the most notable sites in the eight states that come under a central command.
There are 9 panels on the wall, and the artists depicted a thread of continuity between the different panels that starts with the sunrise in the mountains and ends with the sunset in the sea. Eight states under the command are represented on the wall via art forms, which are Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and Odisha. Each state under the command has their most prominent topographical feature portrayed, and the activities that the command handles are metaphorically shown on the wall in story art form. Each state blended seamlessly into the next, with only visual representations of each state’s geographies used to demonstrate the command’s seamless integration and smooth operations across the states.
Gond and Bhil arts are used to narrate the story.
The first panel represents Himachal Pradesh, where, with the sunrise over the Ganges, the wall art portrays an army man in the initial phase of service—enlistment and training. The snow leopard and the state bird, the Western Tragopan, are also depicted (in Bhil art) to highlight the state.
The second panel represents the state of Uttarakhand, focusing on rescue work by army men during floods. Also shown to highlight the state are the Bramha Kamal (which blooms only once a year) and the Himalayan Monal and Deodhar trees. (Gond art was used)
The third panel represents the state of Uttar Pradesh, focusing on the personal lives of army personnel. The Ashoka Tree and the Kumbh Mela have also helped to portray the state accurately. (Gond Art was used.).
The fourth panel describes the Imambara as the headquarters of the Army Central Command, located here in Uttar Pradesh. Then it represents the peepal leaf of Bihar via Gond art.
The fifth wall focuses only on the activities of Army personnel like paragliding, para jumping, boxing, archery, football, shooting, martial arts, water sports, equestrians, golfing, athletics, etc. (used Gond art).
The sixth wall represents the state of Madhya Pradesh while showcasing the Palash tree, Dudhraj birds, and wildlife animals like tigers. (Gond Art was used.)
The seventh panel represents Jharkhand with its wildlife, including elephants, wild boars, Koyal, and Nilgai. (Gond Art)
The eighth panel represents Chhattisgarh, depicting Chitrakoot Water Falls and its flora and fauna (Bhil Art).
The ninth panel depicts the Sunset in Orissa, complete with the famous Konark wheel and Temple. This frame marks the sunset in the soldier’s life, describing veterans and war widows. (Gond Art).
The complete nine panels not only portray the lifecycle of the Army but also act like an encyclopaedia of eight states while showcasing their state animals, birds, flora, and fauna.
While at the Art Salute event, I had the chance to attend the Bhil workshop. I had the opportunity to try my hand at Bhil art while this workshop was being held for the Army Wives Welfare Association. Bhil art is composed of enormous, unrealistic shapes of commonplace characters filled in with vibrant, yet earthy colours and then covered with an overlay of consistent dots in a variety of patterns and colours that stand out strikingly against the background. The effect is beautiful, as the dots give the painting dimension. By the end of the workshop, I realised the effort and patience that go into creating such artistic forms.
On the 13th of November, at the time of unveiling the wall, Nerolac Paint introduced their new concept, Nerolac Art Tales. So, from now onwards, if you want to convert your wall into a storyteller, Nerolac will help you transform your wall. You can choose any art form like Gond, Bhil, or any other rich local art, and they can customise the wall as per your family’s story.
Art always acts as therapy because it allows people to express feelings using pencil, paint, or canvas. It helps us develop gradually and improve ourselves. Especially with tribal art, where the emphasis on natural elements allows us to tap into the region’s open space, As a result, “Art Salute” in Lucknow turned out to be a great learning opportunity and therapeutic ambience for me while also presenting me with various elements of all eight states that fall under the control of the central command.
Watch the full video of the Event here
In Collaboration with TOI, Nerolac Paints and A hundred hands
9 thoughts on “ART SALUTE – Salute our Protectors and Salute our tribal arts and preserve the art culture.”
I love events like this one. Not only to see the talent of the artist community but to get insight into the culture and stories being told through their art. I haven’t heard of Bhil before. Know that you’ve described it, I realize how popular of an art style it is, and that’s great you go the chance to practice it. I can see how therapeutic it just might be.
Great blog post! All the nine panels representing the army life cycle along with the state’s specialities are so beautiful. It would be difficult to choose one panel that is better than the other. Nerolac art tales sound like a good idea to get Nerolac to paint one of the walls in your house with local art customised to your own story. Thank you for this informative post worthy of art salute indeed. 🙂
The Art Salute looks like a lovely tribute to the Indian army. I love the different aspects that the art portrays. And the creativity of the peepal leaf. Thanks for taking us on a walk through the 9 different panels on display. A colourful way to showcase the state animals, birds, flora, and fauna.
This is really nice. So, far my favorite is the seventh panel. What a perfect way to celebrate. It’s cool that they also organized a workshop too! Kudos to the people behind this event.
I think that this exhibition is a great idea to celebrate the Army and the country’s independence through art. I like that the pieces include the highlights of each state, nature and wildlife, integrating the army with the local communities in the days of peace. It’s so interesting that you got a chance to attend a workshop and practice Bhil art.
I haven’t heard about the ART SALUTE project before, but I love India culture, so it’s a fascinating article for me. It’s great to know that idea of Art Salute is to salute Indian protectors via tribal arts and preserve this arts and heritage culture via story art. I like the first panel represents Himachal Pradesh, as I visited this place, and I experienced sunrise over the Ganges. And I dream to return. I also like the wall represents the state of Madhya Pradesh with Dudhraj birds and tigers. I love the idea of taking the Bhil workshop. You had a such an amazing experience!
It is like a storybook with illustrations. Will the wall art be permanently there, or will they repaint it with new graphics after some time?
I love that every painting has a story to tell and a representation of a state and its army. It is hard to decide, which one is better, but I think the fifth painting is the most appealing because it shows the activity that they do in terms of transportation and training. I find it interesting.
Beautiful art that captures a landscape or a person is one thing enjoy – but beautiful art with a meaningful story to tell is something I appreciate even more. So, I am fascinated by the ART SALUTE project! I can see that each panel is uniquely portrayed with gorgeous color and regional significance, yet together, the parts are greater than the whole. The details are lovely, too. As I look over each one, I am struck by emotions for each of the scenes and history on display. I’m so glad you brought this important art project to my attention. How cool that you were able to do a workshop, too!