By Ramesh K.Dhiman ; Palampur (Kangra) The six-day-long Sobha Singh Art Festival to mark 114th birth anniversary of the legendary painter Sobha Singh, known as the painter of the divine, which kicked off on November 17, concluded here today at Andretta, a sleepy hamlet tucked away in the picturesque Kangra valley. The legendary painter migrated to this nondescript village after partition, with some of his rare paintings. The event was inaugurated by Jaisinghpur MLA Yadwinder Goma.
The week-long festivity was marked by a plethora cultural activity with the young and the old, drawn from distant corners of the region, to be part of this cultural mélange. The young ones had a tryst with subtle niceties of the art of painting that the painter had mastered. Goma lauded the role of the Sobha Singh Memorial Art Society (SSMAS) for carrying forward the rich legacy of the painter for posterity. He also released a colourful poster depicting the erstwhile princely state of Chamba, by Dr. Hirday Paul Singh during the workshop. The workshop was organized in tandem with the North Zone Cultural Centre.
The workshop was marked by a spectrum of activity, including posters-releasing session depicting the ethereal beauty and bounty of this mountainous state, besides imparting special training to womenfolk in learning various art forms by Kamaljit Kaur, a noted artist. A special workshop on ‘ Likhnu’, a traditional art form of was inaugurated by Dr Shiv Kumar, a personal physician of late Sobha Singh on the occasion. He also released a poster the Lahual-Spiti valley made by Hirday Pal Singh.
Dr Gautam Vyathit, a well-known art historian, in his key note address said ‘Likhnu’ now a fast-vanishing art form, traces its origin from the ancient cave paintings and dazzling drawings of the times. Womenfolk draw winsome floral designs in their homes, called ‘Likhnu’, a winsome blend of myriad hues, on festive occasions like Purnima, Diwali, lohri, et al. The President of the society, Mr K. G. Butail, said the society was engaged heart and soul in carrying forward the rich legacy of the painter. A documentary on ‘Likhnu’ was also screened on the occasion.