Impact of Modernization on Orissa Patta Painting
The Patta paintings have been progressing since its application in the Jagannath temple. It has crossed a long way and experienced evolutions during its long path. Due to the development of communication system, exposure of the Chitrakaras to the outside world and their interaction with people of other cultures, their taste and need, Patta Painting has touched the webs of modernization. As a result, a remarkable change has come over their traditional world views which are explicitly reflected in their painting work and life style.
Changes of Canvas and Items
Traditionally Patta Painting was done only on two types of canvas or base namely (a) primed paper (used for Jatripatti only) and (b) primed cloth (used for Patta Paintings of different sizes). Each Chitrakara had to prepare these canvases through along process taking about 3-4 days in his house. But now-a-days the system has changed quite a lot. Chitrakaras now, use various other types of materials for the base of the Patta Painting to appease their customers. The Patta paintings these days are used in different forms and on different items with diverse purposes by the people. The commonly utilised bases to solve modern requirements are :-
(a) Tassar Cloth : - It is one of the most popular alternative for primed cloth and the painting piece is known as "Tassar Painting". They paint the same story, in the same pattern as they do in the traditional primed cloth (Patta) in different sizes. The cloth is first tightly and evenly fixed on a small wooden board with the help of glue on its borders after which they carry on the painting works. On completion sometimes two narrow wooden rods are fixed on both sides of this painting to hang it on the walls. These Tassar Paintings are lighter and occupy comparatively less space as against traditional Patta Painting on primed cloth of the same size. It is easier to carry Tassar paintings from place to place.
(b) Wood and Conch Shell : - They also use wood and conch shells as base on which Patta painting is done. Such articles consists of various modern appliances like wooden pen stand, letter-stand, ash-tray, glass and cups covers etc. which look colourful and attractive after painting. Similarly the appliances, like pen stand, ash-tray, paper weight and other decorative pieces made of conch shells are also painted. As all these items are small, they decorate them with either small single motifs or floral motifs.
(c) Paper : - Traditionally primed paper was used only for Jatri patti type of painting. But nowadays they use the paper base in a different way. They paint this craft on drawing sheets of different sizes for making greeting and invitation cards as they have a greater market value. They also get attractive seasonal benefits by selling out these products. As a consequence the preparation of Jatripatti has lost its importance in the modern market.
(d) Coconut : - It is interesting to note that they have started to paint on dry coconut, both skinned and unskinned, because of durability of the product. In case of skinned coconut they carefully take out all the COir from the outer cover and make it smooth enough to apply the colour. Both for the skinned and unskinned coconut they first allow the inside to dry out by keeping them under the sun, after which start the painting process. The mode of painting and application of colours follow the same procedure as that of traditional Patta painting.
(e) Palm Leaf : - Palm leaf carving has also borrowed the style of Patta painting. The motifs and narrations of palm leaf carving is same as that of Patta painting. Traditionally they used to put no colours to carved motifs, but now they put colours to the motifs which makes them more distinct and so the whole piece of work looks colourful and attractive.