Warli paintings have a distinct art style that is associated with their culture. It happens to be so distinct that people have somehow identified "Warli culture" with that, when there’s so much more they can offer. Warli paintings are descriptive in nature. It always tells us a story about their lifestyle, festivals, and marriages. I wasn’t looking forward to having just Warli illustrations as my output (which also coincided with the output of my previous project here).
How do I represent their culture other than Warli art* I decided to experiment and explore on what else could be defined as "Warli". Some of them were their homes, the food they eat, their daily attire and their daily activities. I then brainstormed some ideas on how I could include them in my visualization (other than the Warli painting).
Based on the visualization aspect, I had two directions in mind,
Large Poster: Large visualization with all the elements together, making a whole. It makes sense if I was painting the big picture about Warli culture. Small chunks of information but easy to compare and understand the gist. Circular annual calendar approach.
Spiral Book: small-scale and more specific to the festivals, rather than the big picture. Infographics on each festival, together making a whole, a spiral book i.e. still maintaining the continuity. Informative in nature as it is more detailed and in-depth but would lose the wholeness that a large poster gives.
Understanding Warli Art
While living at a Warli artist’s home for a few days, we got to learn Warli painting from the masters themselves. It’s symbolic and rudimentary in nature and consists mainly of geometric shapes and lines i.e. circles, triangles, and squares. For example, Humans and animal bodies are represented by two triangles joined at the tip, and so on.
In order to create the Warli illustration and brush through what I’ve learnt, I created a mood board for each festival which includes relevant Warli drawings and real-life celebratory pictures, mainly for reference.
I decided to set an infographic layout (in landscape print medium) for the Warli festivals, thereby creating a series that could be extended further. In order to show the cultural elements more, I decided to have two main parts: The Warli Painting and the Illustration of the event.
Wari Paintings are descriptive in nature and tell their own story, but not a lot of newbies would understand one right away. So I decided to have them take up the most space and provide a Warli symbol glossary towards the end.
I also tried to give the paintings a bit more dimension by setting the scene at their home and making the paintings on their walls. Hence, that would give us more context about the festival, with the background, attire, people and their actions changing with it. Even the walls being inside or outside is a tell on how it’s celebrated. There would also be another illustration with the same art style as the wall paintings to maintain visual consistency. There would also be another illustration with the same art style as the wall paintings to maintain visual consistency.
Since the visuals will occupy a lot of space, the rest of the information would strictly be text-based. Based on these decisions, here are some layouts I experimented with,