12 April, France
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who winds up his first visit to France, gifted President Francois Hollande a painting titled ‘Tree of Life’ which reflects the traditional societal respect for nature in India.
The painting, pigments on silk, has been done by an artist, Bhaskar Mahapatra of heritage craft village Raghurajpur in Puri district of Odisha.
The message behind gifting it seemed to be the emphasis on sustenance of life and clean environment ahead of the global meet on climate change that France will be hosting in December this year.
The tree, as a divine gift central to human life, is a recurring element in Indian artistic practice.
Bhaskar MohaMohapatra has been practicing the art form for the last thirty years along with the rest of his family and works from his home in the heritage craft village of Raghurajpur.
Bhaskhar Mohapatra Who has been honoured by Lalit Kala Akademi, is inspired by his training and expertise in Palm Leaf painting and Pattachitra.