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For the love of art

Passion and dedication for art gives Joseph Goes, an artist from Madkai, a source of earning and a reason to add a spark of creativity to the festive vibe in the state, discovers Serilda Coutinho

Art has no religion, Joseph Goes who runs a small painting and art workshop in his humble dwelling in Madkai is a proof of it. Goes has turned his childhood hobby of painting and his creative skills to stitch costumes for drama and craft props for Shigmotsav and festivals into a full time business. Madkai that is one of the major hubs for temples in Goa inspired the homegrown artist to take up assignments during Chaturthi and Diwali at a young age of 22 years.

“For me encouragement came in from my friends and locals who liked my work which was usually done on their request. Slowly the word spread and I was approached by various drama organizations for stage setups and curtain paintings as well as locals for festivals” says Goes. His artwork business carried out on a small scale fetches the artisan an annual profit of around Rs 7 lakh to Rs 8 Lakh.“I never considered my work as a business it was rather the satisfaction from my customers that mattered more for me,” he says.

During the Chaturthi festival Goes gets orders for portall, a foldable frame made of cardboard, placed behind the Ganpathi idol. Having been in the business for the about 40 years, Goes as an artisan has gained an in-depth understanding of the festive requirement and used his skills to fulfill the demands of his customers, “homemade frames of cardboard are more cost efficient and lasts for around 10-15 years as I make use of oil paint.”

Cost incurred on the material that is around Rs 1000 can easily give you a product worth Rs 5000 for sale.”A single portall made by Goes is priced around Rs 2000 to Rs 3000.’ He further adds that those available in the market are made of thermocol and fade out easily as it is painted with water color, apart from that they are costly too.

Goes does not restrict himself only to the festive season but has widened his reach across the state through the Shigmotsav festival. He provides props for the Shigmotsav parades in Dhurbhat, Sanguem, Sarvordem, Betim, Bicholim and Sanguem. The local festival gets him profitable business as he takes up assignments on order basis. Cost for one float parade (romtamel) includes props such as chatri, flags, white balloons (dhvaj), and toran on which is embroidered the name of the participating parade.  Goes quotes a price of around Rs 50,000 to Rs 60,000 for one set of the parade. While the price of a single chatri embellished with golden zari work starts at Rs 2500 and goes up to Rs 6000. “Work for Shigmotsav starts from October onwards for the next year,” he says.

Owing to lack of quality material available in the state due to the absence of drama studios, Goes sources the raw material used for Shigmotsav and for stitching drama costumes from Mumbai. “I always prefer purchasing double the ordered quantity as it saves me the cost incurred on my travel and since I get orders throughout the year it does not go waste, “says Goes.

Another talent that the homegrown artist nurtures is creating sets and costumes for dramas along with directing them too. The set creation includes painting drama curtains as well as structuring wooden sets that give an illusion of a room setup commonly used in plays. “The most common curtains paintings are scene of the road and the garden. I price my artwork around Rs 3000 to Rs 4000 depending on the type of scene required .While touch ups are very affordable to reuse curtains after its prolonged usage and ranges from Rs 500-Rs 600” says Goes.

He further adds that, with time set creators have switched to flex (used for printing ads) rather than the traditional wooden base to cut on cost. According to Goes, this substitute to wood takes away the charm from the sets and is not durable.

Stressing on the greed of money that has discouraged the youth from taking up skilled work, Goes says that now everyone prefers industrial jobs and readily available sources to earn money. Apart from that the price of home-crafted products are hiked up and sold in the market that makes the consumer feel the pinch while spending on these products.

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