From Floor to Ceiling: A Symposium on South Asian Murals and Floor-drawings

Emily Jane Cushing recommends an upcoming Symposium on South Asian murals

London: The South Asian Arts Group (SAAG) and The Centre for Research and Education in Art and Media (CREAM) have joined forces for an exciting 2013 symposium on South Asian murals to be held at the University of Westminster on 26 October 2013.

Until recently, Western scholarship focused primarily on the courtly arts of India, and this event is an opportunity for this vibrant and varied forms of Indian domestic arts, usually categorized as ‘folk’ or ‘tribal’ art, to be discussed. The aim of the event is to encourage debate and the exchanging of views on the vast but under-researched topic of Southern Asian murals and floor drawing traditions, and also their contemporary counter-parts.

The event hopes to uncover varied approaches to the research of the topic including art historical interpretations and aesthetic views as well as anthropological and ethnographic perspectives. Insightful debates will include whether the creators of these works should be considered artists or craftsmen, and examinations of the creative process behind such works; debate will also be encouraged concerning the materials used in the creation of these works and the possible heritage and conservation methods needed to preserve such examples.

Further thoughtful discussion will concern the transition and development of such arts, from domestic to public spaces, from amateur makers to professional artists and from ephemeral arts to permanent fixtures for the purpose of the art market.

In the hopes of accommodating a wider range of views on the topic the geographical scope of this event extends beyond just India to the rest of South Asia; papers are encouraged to concern Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Tibet.

A thorough description of the symposium is available here.

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