Pranita Ranade, Symbiosis International University, Pune, India
Volume V, Number 2, 2015. Download PDF Version
This research paper examines features about functional book design process of 17th Century brahmanical Devanagari manuscripts available in Maharashtra with a focal point on ‘Form and Function’. This is an inductive research. It investigates design aspects related to form, shape and page turning system of manuscripts. Traditional influence of art, culture, style borrowed from some other culture also considered as appropriation in manuscript format. Results show that brahmanical manuscripts have their own conventional system of page orientation and method of turning the pages in a particular way. Usability in design helps reader to see previous and current page at the same time without interrupting the flow of text. This is a completely a new and unique approach to examine manuscripts with usability orientated design perspective. Study adds a valuable contribution in the subject of history of publication design and its association with contemporary book design.
Keywords: Devanagari Manuscripts, Graphic Design, Form & Function, Publication Design, Visual Art
Dr. Lopamudra Maitra, Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication (SIMC- UG), Pune
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As the torrential rain gushes down the plastic and tarpaulin sheets of the narrow alleys in Kumartuli, covering the half-made clay idols, the smell of wet earth emanates, reverberates, encircles and rises up to announce the arrival of the auspicious occasion— Durga Puja. Finally, as the dawn of Mahalaya announces the arrival of the Devipaksha and the last ablutions are offered to seek blessings from one’s forefathers on the banks of the sacred river Ganga, the artisans of Kumartuli pronounce the occasion through invoking the powers of the female goddess by painting the eyes of the idols of Durga, famously known as Chokkhudaan or bestowing of the eyes. A popular and annual sight in the region every year, this relatively small, yet largely famous and well-renowned region of Kumartuli stands tucked within the narrow lanes and by-lanes of Sovabazar area of the northern region of the present city of Kolkata (West Bengal, India) and the relatively recent construction of the underground metro-railway station of the same name. A busy place for idol-makers, the kumbhars, their small and narrow workshops, aligned against their crowded tenements, hum with the buzz of activities at most times of the year, especially during the time of the Durga puja. Over the years, the region has experienced a surge and witnessed changes in the style of the clay idols, their expression and depictions, especially the ones made for Durga puja. Carrying forth a string of history within itself, as these depictions represent a strain of continuity of the famous worship of female deities of the region, the changes and alterations in visual depictions of the idols made in Kumartuli also help to reflect new ideas and ideologies in the age of new-media, forming an important part of Visual Anthropology. Based on an extensive fieldwork in the region of Kumartuli and various parts of Kolkata throughout the month of Aswina (September-October) between 2011-2012, this paper tries to look into the significant aspects of the representations of the idol-making formats of Kumartuli, their changing presentations and new reflections and how the local history, oral traditions and lores still manifest themselves through these changing representations.