Post 432 ⇒ by Gautam Shah →
There are basic TWO sets of Arts. Portable arts, comprise of objects or artefacts. These usually remain in protected environments. Fixed arts are built-forms, wall murals and architectural embellishments, all could be part of exterior and interior environments, but always affected by the behaviour of the environments.
Portable arts consist of wide variety of object forms and material combinations. Compared to the fixed Arts the objects are smaller in size. The portable objects show all, the surface treatments, coating application and embellishments. The objects of this category show greater integration of all the three interventions and greater detail or involvement. Large number and wide variety of objects have been preserved and recovered from regions where Fixed Arts entities have not survived. Portable arts’ objects are smaller and one person hobby or a family craft creation. These are forms of personal experimentation or creative satiation, and to a very minor extent for business production.
Fixed Arts entities that have survived are show painting, scrapping, etching and daubing methods of surface treatments. On the other hand the surviving built-forms, if can be considered the art-form, represent technological milestones of material handling, supporting and construction planning. Fixed arts are large scale or important societal activities. These involved entire community by way of voluntary participation or forced labour. The involvement of the community was for seasonal or occasional rituals. The leader, conductor or priest of the ritual and the team were the select few experts who initiated and updated the entities over and over again. Such art-forms indicate occupation or interventions of several generations, as much as for more than 300 years.
Portable Art objects are incidental that is the availability, shape, size, colours, texture, etc. define the range of treatments. Many times the purpose it will serve evolves during the process of treatments. Such objects show material combinations. Exploiting basic tools by changing their forms and usage, many different finishes were achieved. Material processes like heating, singeing, sintering, baking, beating, shaping, cutting, chopping, grinding, drilling, etc., were also used in farming and cooking. It was one seamless manner of learning. The objects were natural and self-combined or processed. These materials were stones, precious stones, metal nodules, mineral and other colourants, woods, grasses, twigs, hides, leathers, skins, furs, hairs, shells, teeth, horns, bones, clay objects, baked clay ceramics, seeds, fruits, etc. The objects formed were totems, body adornments, tools, implements, ritual and burial objects, cooking utilities, toys for children, amenities and dwelling embellishments. These were exchanged, gifted to others or offered in rituals. The objects began to have consistent expressions that were gestural. The varied metaphors, passing from one generation to other, ultimately became abstract. Coins, plaques, seals, etc. represent multiple conversions of expressions like a language.
Fixed Art objects like built-forms, though functional utilities were built through community efforts, or initiated for political purposes. These entities were irrigation facilities, forest clearance, dykes, bridges, walks or passages, drinking water resources, community surround structures, security amenities and storage arrangements. These were not ‘decorative arts’ but symbolized technological innovations. Some like burial stones and dolmen had items of personalization.
Fixed Arts objects like wall arts show skills of surface preparation, rendering or painting and surface finishing. These creations also show art of surface preparation by way of grinding, etching, daubing, engraving and colourant application. Wall-arts exist in odd narrow corners, at very high elevations, tall ceilings, day time dark corners and in nearly inaccessible places. The effort must have required support structures, bridges, scaffolds, illumination and ancillary works to protect the creations from moisture.