Exhibition: Telling Tales: Story Scrolls from India, Williamson Art Gallery and Museum, Birkenhead, until April 15 2012
© National Museums Liverpool
You can see the thinking behind the Ethnology team at Museums Liverpool’s decision to send their collection of contemporary Bengali scrolls on tour.
The long, vertical, multi-panelled works (known as patas – literally, paintings) spent centuries being carted from village to village by the picture makers (patuas) of West Bengal. The famous storytelling community would divide each section into a part of their tale, designed to be gradually revealed, sometimes in return for a small fee for the teller.
These modern versions visit the Williamson as part of a trail around six venues in the north-west, and the colourful portable storyboards – made by leading Indian artists as part of the host group’s Collecting Contemporary India scheme – highlight issues ranging from AIDS and women’s rights to environmental disasters and the war in Afghanistan.
“The project has been a very successful collecting programme for us,” says curator Emma Martin.
“I'm delighted we are getting the chance to share these brand new pieces with museum visitors across the region.”
- Open Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm. Admission free.