Updated: August 20, 2021 6:03:33 pm
‘Beti bachao, beti padhao’ , ‘Har ghar jal’ , ‘Namami Gange’ , ‘Hunar hai to kadar hai’ are among the many slogans attached with the central government’s welfare schemes and campaigns.
While these campaigns are usually aired on TV and radio sets, a Parbhani-based artist is using these and some social awareness campaigns of the Maharashtra government in his artwork. The latest addition to his art has been messages to spread awareness of social distancing, washing of hands and wearing masks in the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Prahlad Pawar makes use of pebbles along the banks of river Godavari and after careful curation, uses them in the most artistic way to make designer frames.
“Parbhani continues to remain backward but there are some natural things which need appreciation. Through my art, I hope to bring some recognition to the place,” said Pawar, who hails from Wazur village.
His wife and elderly parents too are involved in creating the artwork. “We maintain a stock of pebbles collected from the river banks and use them as needed,” shared Bhagwan Pawar, the artist’s father.
When asked what drew him to social work using art, Pawar said that it was a three-year Maharashtra Chief Minister fellowship, which ended in 2020, that inspired him with a number of ideas, including the ongoing social campaigns. Clubbing this idea with his art, he continued the journey of his artistic career, and is now the owner of Shrishti Pebble Art.
“Through art, I wish to spread awareness and take forward social messages to many people,” he said.
A regular frame measuring 9×12 in size takes up to three days to make. “Once a theme is set, I look for the right pebble from my collection — the size, shape and its position in the design. I use uncut pebbles, in their natural shape,” he said.
The cost to make a frame can be anywhere between Rs 1,000 to 1,200 and he sells them for a range of prices, starting from Rs 1,500.
Pawar has represented Maharashtra at the Hunar Haat, an exhibition organised by the Ministry of Minority Affairs in Bhopal.
While Covid-19 pandemic did slow down the sale of his artwork, which was finding some ground in online sales, Pawar is hopeful that the government will come forward and help artists like him in showcasing the hidden beauty of places like Parbhani.
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