Bhil art is possibly the oldest form of tribal expression in
For the record
To an untrained eye Bhil can be confused for Gond, both art forms using near-similar metaphor. But look a little keenly — you don’t need to peer too hard — and you'll realise the marked differences between the two figurative styles.
With the sort of urban exposure it's received, Gond has refined itself. What’s clearly visible at first glance are the contours in Gond paintings, which are very well defined. For instance, if the paws of a cat are to be shown, these will resemble the actual shape. In a Bhil painting, on the other hand, they will be just an impression.
In-filling the motif is a very prominent aspect of both forms. Bhils use only dots in all colours and these can be scattered or drawn in neat formation, almost similar to aborigine art. In contrast each Gond artist has evolved a signature filling pattern — dot, dash, round etc — and these are almost-always in the colour black. Furthermore, the art of the Gonds is usually proportionate while the Bhils have an unrestrictive, almost naïve, style.
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Published in Deccan Herald, Oct 2014