Puri: National award winning artist Laxmidhar Subuddhi of Raghurajpur here has etched Krishnaleela (the life and activities of Lord Krishna) on a 10-foot long and 4-foot wide mat (pati) made of palm leaves.
Subuddhi has made the palm leaf painting to apply for the Shilpiguru award of Central government. “ Four members of my family and I have worked eight months to prepare the special palm leaf art,” said the eminent artist.
According to Subuddhi, he has etched altogether 236 illustrations on the palm leaf mat to depict Krishnaleela—starting from the birth of Lord Krishna to the slaying of demon king Kansa.
“The massive palm art illustrates the birth of Lord Krishna and his childhood days at Gopapura and love affair with Radha. Besides, the art has illustrations of slaying of demons like Bakasura, Arghasura, Pralamba and Putana. The Dhanuyatra at Mathura has also been depicted in the art,” Subuddhi claimed.
Subuddhi, a carpenter by birth, had initially learnt carpentry but subsequently migrated to stone carving. He had learnt stone carving from renowned sculptor and architect Raghunath Mahapatra, a Padma Vibhushan recipient. “I could not get satisfaction from stone carving and slowly got attracted to palm leaf art and Pattachitra. I had encouraged my eldest daughter to learn palm leaf art. Subsequently, I myself started etching figures on palm leaf,” narrated the artisan.
Subuddhi claimed that his wife and children have achieved expertise in etching figures on palm leaf. “Till date, no one in Odisha has prepared such a massive palm leaf art,” said Subudhhi who had won a national award in 2015.