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Shilpa Akhil

Theyyam, the dance of the divine. A visually rich cult with explosive colors, Theyyam is art with dense layers of imagery and symbolism, one in which ancient chants are employed with the ritual use of music, richly colored fabrics, and dance to visualize and invoke the deity. An ancient ritualistic form of worship, the roots of this folk art, which is a blend of dance, music, and devotion are native to the Malabar region of Kerala. There is magic, there are devotion and presence of God in this ritual dance form. Theyyam is considered a transformation of man to God. A theyyam (the person who performs this art form) is considered as the living embodiment of God. It incorporates dance, music, and mime. Theyyam has its roots in ancient tribal cultures. The worship of heroes and the spirits of ancestors was predominant among the tribal communities. Man assumes the form of God and dances, in return, Gods assure prosperity and peace to the society. The god’s face paint is equally as ornate, wide eyes are sunken in black pits, while the rest of his face is a vivid orange. Red designs spider across his face. Watching Theyyam is an experience for a lifetime and this experience has led me to create this acrylic painting which is done on 100% cotton canvas.

This is a Fine Art Watercolor Painting. 

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