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World Museum opens its gateway to India in new exhibition
The featured works have been commissioned and collected by National Museums Liverpool over the past five years.

LIVERPOOL.- World Museum has brought a piece of India to Liverpool this month, with the opening of a new exhibition exploring the role of storytelling in Indian art and culture.

Telling Tales, on view now and until 8 Sep 2013 showcases the work of seven artists, portraying the traditional and contemporary stories of the country in a vibrant and colourful setting.

From large-scale paintings of village life, to terracotta horses, photographs and video material, the exhibition offers a colourful, exuberant and exciting insight into 21st century India, immersing visitors in the sights and sounds of the country.

The featured works have been commissioned and collected by National Museums Liverpool over the past five years. Also on display are objects from World Museum’s nationally important India collections bringing to life some of the enduring stories of India.

Featuring several iconic Hindu Gods including Ganesha, the elephant headed God; Krishna, the Hindu God of Love and Devi, the Goddess, the works by contemporary artists show a broad cross section of mediums including works on canvas and paper alongside impressive sculptures and objects.

Central to the exhibition is a storytelling tent, so that visitors of all ages can enjoy listening to traditional Indian stories as part of the exhibition’s family-friendly events programme. Teaming up with locally-based Indian arts organisation Milapfest, visitors can expect to experience Indian culture first hand with a packed programme of events and activities led by some of today’s leading Indian artists in dance, music and storytelling workshops for everyone.

Emma Martin, Head of Ethnology and Curator of Asia Collections said: “Indian culture is known for its tradition of storytelling. Many of these tales have been handed down in folklore, but storytelling is still very much thriving today.

“Storytellers continue to find inspiration in many different places, and the artists featured in this exhibition have used their various styles of artwork to tell their audiences of the contemporary stories that affect the lives of 21st century Indian people.”

Artists whose work is being displayed in the exhibition include:

Mantu Chitrakar – Working in the traditional art of Bengali scrolls to tell stories, which are revealed as the scrolls are unrolled for viewing.

Pushpa Kumari – Mithila artist creating beautifully intricate works inspired by contemporary and women’s issues.

Paresh Jayantilal Rathwa – Pithora painter. The origins of this art form are believed to have begun as maps, evolving to become highly ritualised forms of cultural identity and expression.

Sonabai Rajawar – Sculptor who has created colourful bas relief wall friezes to decorate her home after living for many years in isolation.

Kalam Patua – Kalighat painter. Kalighat paintings were originally created as souvenirs for visitors to the huge Kali temple in Calcutta. Kalam carries on this tradition, focusing on the 21st century gender wars of Kolkata.

Teju Ben – Self-trained artist, whose pen and ink style is unique. In a recent series of works she was inspired by Sunita Williams, a Gujarati woman from the USA who became the first woman to go into space.

Nankushiya Shyam – Gond artist, focusing on traditional Gond themes including Gods and Goddesses, animals – both real and imaginary – social issues, and fantasy worlds.

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