A good part of what I, like countless Indians growing up in the 70s and 80s small town India know about art, culture and religion comes straight from a bright, kitschy calendar, or bazar print : the colour saturated, mass produced representation of deities, religious themes alongside chubby babies, freedom fighters, movie stars and romantic and idyllic landscapes. These psychedelic prints of benevolent Gods and Goddesses smiling down their blessings on to living rooms, shop floors and street corners have fired popular imagination and visual culture in the subcontinent for over a century .
Much of how we imagine our deities as, is coloured by years of exposure to the generously proportioned Gods and Goddesses rendered in rich jewel tones in one too many calendars. I have always wanted to hang a few at home. The problem with wanting to frame calendar art is that there is way too many attractive, fascinating and confusing options to choose from!
So while scouring the local flea market for appropriate prints ( as in, those that evoked memories of other calendars in other homes ) I landed up coming back with a stash! With some amount of thought, all of the 11 crumbling and yellowing prints I found, landed up in a single niche right at the entrance of the house.
Although the prints were mostly whole they had aged considerably, making the paper very amenable to being decoupaged. So decoupaged they are, embellished with sequins paints and mirrors. Have two other niches to go. Will come back with them later. Until then, hope you enjoy these.
It all begins with a single niche hand drawn in the shape of a Jharokha and cut out along with two others near the entrance.
Cutting, priming, texturing the wall and painting the Jharokha.
Croping and cutting from Calendars, pasting selected images on a piece of ply cut in the shape of the Jharokha.
Going over the pasted images with layers of any good quality sealant . I used modge podge. It is a good idea to allow the surface to dry out completely between applications.
Finally, getting Hem Singh to secure the finished ply onto the wall :)