Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who wound up his first visit to France, gifted President Francois Hollande a painting titled ‘Tree of Life’ which reflects the traditional societal respect for nature in India. The painting, pigments on silk, has been done by an Odisha artist, Bhaskar Mahapatra, who has been practicing the art form for the last 30 years along with the rest of his family, and works from his home in the heritage crafts village of Raghurajpur, a PMO statement said.
Mahapatra, who has been honoured by Lalit Kala Akademi, is inspired by his training and expertise in palm leaf painting and pattachitra. The message behind gifting it seemed to be the emphasis on sustenance of life and clean environment ahead of the global meet on climate change that France will be hosting in December this year.
“The tree, as a divine gift central to human life, is a recurring element in Indian artistic practice. The Tree of Life, with multiple roots and branches like a banyan tree, is a motif for a tree’s benevolence, fruit, seeds, shelter, healing, procreation and regeneration faculties that sustain life and clean the environment,” the statement said.
France will be hosting the meeting of Conference of Parties on UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2015.