India, the land of peacocks!
Peacocks, pecking their way along a dusty lane, sitting incongruously in a tree - surely too large for those thin branches, screeching at dusk. And as a motif decorating textiles, furniture and jewellery they make a wonderful image that suggests exuberant beauty, seduction, heat and a lazy indolence.
So here they are on gorgeous curtains made from appliquéd panels of printed fabrics, each panel a thing of beauty in it's own right.
This classic peacock display is on a Warli painting from central India. The Warli live in the upland forests of central India and represent their vision of the world on the walls of their houses and, luckily for us, in paintings like this one on cloth. The background colour is made from mud and dung and they use a rice paste applied with a bamboo stick to make their paintings.
There is a peacock and a peahen in a tree in this Warli painting on a wall of the Crafts Museum in New Delhi where different tribal groups display their traditional painting styles. Like all well intentioned government enterprises to keep local traditions alive, it has it's limitations but it's always worth a visit just to see both the variations and similarities in the ethnic arts of rural India.
But back to our curtains, we have three colours, navy, ivory and jade. They're made for us in Delhi by a family business we've known for almost 40 years who specialise in beautiful printed cotton voile fabrics. The colour combinations have been skilfully assembled to create subtle harmonies.
This lovely vintage Peacock Brooch has not only the large central peacock with tail in full display mode but also four smaller birds and two coloured glass stones. Mid 20th century.
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Follow this link to see other blog about the use of the peacock motif in Indian decorative arts.