Research & Training

Rural workshops in preventive conservation

The Centre has successfully conducted 53 numbers of rural workshops at site on Preventive Conservation of Manuscripts in Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Puri, Khurda, Kendrapada, Ganjam, Dhenkanal, Nayagarh, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Sundargarh, Bhadrak, Jharsuguda and Balasore district of Orissa where there are major collection of palm leaf manuscripts

Revival of Traditional Mural Painting Skill in Orissa

Following a two year research and documentation project in 1998-2000, supported by the India Foundation for the Arts, Bangalore, more than 70 wall painting sites were brought to light by INTACH ICI Orissa Art Conservation Centre.  Most of these paintings were degraded and were in danger of being lost forever.  At the same time, the traditional artisans of Orissa had forgotten the art of making murals in the traditional techniques.  Lack of patronage, direction and loss of faith in their traditional skills contributed to the art being forgotten.  From poor, the artisans were becoming poorer, both in money and in self dignity.

To solve this problem, a Strategy for Revival of the Dying Mural Painting Skills in Orissa was prepared by the centre and the strategy was executed in a nearby village called Raghurajpur. Traditional lime plasters were researched and a lime mill was constructed.  Workshops on preparation of lime plaster were held and artisans were trained to prepare this traditional plaster. Artists were invited from various districts of Orissa to stay at Raghurajpur, and paint murals on the walls allotted to them.  The themes and designs of the murals were decided mutually between the artisans and the Centre, after a careful study of the types of mural paintings dispersed in Orissa. The aim was to convert the village into a living reference of the Orissan mural painting tradition. Only mineral and earth colours and plan gum as binders were used to make the wall paintings.

The once drab walls of Raghurajpur are now blazing with colour and exquisite mural paintings.  The artisans are walking with their heads held high.  Youngsters are now aware of the once forgotten techniques.