Suman Chitrakar – Bengal Pattachitra

Let us introduce you to Suman Chitrakar (33 yrs) is a young Patua artist from Nayagram village of West Bengal practicing Bengal Patachitra- Scroll Painting. Suman started painting at the age of twenty with his mentor Jaideep Chitrakar. Suman carries the lineage of ‘folk’ artists who paint long vertical scrolls and compose verses. He creates figurative works. His artwork has been featured in two books – one on Bono Bibi of the Sunderbans and another on the life of Savitribai Phule published by Azim Premji University. Recently Suman Chitrakar grabbed the attention of the British audience participating in an inspirational exhibition ‘Gods and Demons’ which was an initiative by India’s West Bengal government Biswa Bangla in collaboration with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and London’s Nehru Centre in May 2016. After a glorious week in London, the artist conducted live demonstrations and workshops at the Museum of Edinburgh.

Sai Kiran – Cherial Art

Sai Kiran , the son of state award winners D. Nageshwar and D. Padma, hails from Rangareddy district Telangana. Sai Kiran learnt this art form from his grandfather and father- D Nageshwar Rao Nakash , a Cherial scroll painting expert. He studied Fine Arts from Sri Venkateshwara College of Fine Arts, Madhapur. He later chose to carry on with his family tradition of Cherial Scroll Painting and Mask Making. He is the fourth generation in this artistic family. Sai Kiran started conducting workshops at the age of 17 years and that was when he was noticed by Surabhi Vani Devi, daughter of late P V Narasimha Rao, Former Prime Minister of India. She offered him a seat at the Osmani University in Hyderabad, in Fine Arts, which further improved his skills. Sai Kiran’s specialization was painting and murals.

Rupsona Chitrakar – Santhal Pattachitra

Rupsona Chitrakar, 22 years old, is a patachitra artist of Pingla. Rupsona is an expert in painting on Santhal tribal themes. She started painting at the age of six and learnt from her father Bahadur Chitrakar and grandmother Baharjan Chitrakar. She paints on religious themes and works on apparels as well. She has participated in exhibitions and fairs in Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore and Pune.

Madhubani Artists : Vaidyanath Jha and Krishnakumar Jha

Father and Son in a workshop

Madhubani Artist Duo

Let us introduce you to Vidyanath Jha, born in 1947, is one of the senior and respected artists from Madhubani, Bihar and his son Krishna Kumar Jha. Master artist Vidyanath Jha learned painting from his elder sister Bachoudi Devi. He was in his 20s when tragedy struck his family, forcing him to look for livelihood. With his two sisters Bachoudi and Lakshmi Devi, Vidyanath’s mother and aunt has created exquisite Madhubani art on their walls. He practices Godhna and Tantrik style of painting. He was a Guru in Nabard Bank’s training initiative. He has also trained SHG members on Madhubani painting. He has visited Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Surat to showcase his paintings in exhibitions and fairs.

Vidyanath ji’s son Krishna Kumar Jha is a state awardee in Kalanand Art Contest of Prafulla Dahanukar Art Foundation in 2016.

Odisha Palm Pattachitra : Pramod Maharana and Praful Maharana

Let us introduce you to a veteran brother artist of Pattachitra Prafulla Kumar Maharahana, Pramod Kumar Maharana (36 yrs) & Prakash Kumar Maharana (33 yrs) from Nayaka Patana village of Puri district in Odisha. These skilled brother artist belongs to a family of accomplished chitrakars and specialises in Patachitra& Silk Painting. They were introduced to this art form by their father at very early age and later they got trained by the master artists Jaganath and Dinabandhu Mahapatra. The maharana brothers travelled and demonstrated the Pattachitra craft in Europe (Germany). Pramod draws Rs 10,000 every month from his art work sales in a Chennai museum.

Prafulla Kr. Maharana is a State Handicrafts award (1998) winner and Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhawna Award (2007) winner.   He was also honoured with the Certificate of Merit 2006 by Ministry of Textile.

Borrowing from the contemporary style, they have introduced newer designs. While tradition dictates for palm leaves to be attached in the form of scrolls, they have widened the scope of the practice. Now, Pattachitras come in shapes of wall hangers, bookmarks and even game boards.

Rajasthani Paintings: Phad: Joshi brothers Vijay and Vivek

Vijay & Vivek Kumar Joshi

Phad Artist Duo

Let us introduce you to Vijay & Vivek Joshi, brother duo, are traditional Phad artists from Shahpura (Bhilwara district) of Rajasthan.

Vijay Joshi is a National Merit Award–winning artist and member of Virasat: Nonpareil Shahpura’s Phad Painting Training and Research Institute. The Joshi brother took training in the Shahpura’s Nonpareil Phad art under the guidance of their father Shri. Shanti Lal Joshi who is also a National Award Winner. They participated in exhibitions in different metro cities across India as well as in aboard like France, Singapore and Bogata (Columbia). They make innovative paintings on Hanuman, Durga and Ganesh.

The uniqueness and novelty of Vijay’s and Vivek’s Phad paintings are primarily based on the mythological stories related to the lives and achievements of various Hindu Gods such as Pabuji, Devnarayan, Ramdal (related to Ramayan), Krishnadala (related to Krishna) and Mataji ka Chandwa. But keeping up with the times has also meant that Vijay customises art as per customer requirements which even includes a painting of one of India’s superstars, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan. Vijay himself has been a recipient of a number awards himself- National Merit Award, National Fellowship, Rajasthan State Bronze, Award for Folk Art and Kalananda Art Contest.

Gond Paintings: Bhajju Shyam

Padmashree Bhajju Shyam

Gond Artist, a master story teller, a recipient of the Padamshree Award for 2018

Let us introduce you to With internationally acclaimed artist, illustrator & writer Bhajju Shyamji. Bhajjuji was born in 1971 in the Gond tribal village of Patangarh. Throughout his childhood he saw his mother paint the walls of his home, as is in their tribal tradition. Bhajjuji entered into the world of painting through the guidance of his mother. He held his first solo show in India, in 2016. Born in a tribal family, he worked as a night guard and electrician to support his family before becoming a professional artist.

He has worked on projects depicting life in Europe through Gond Paintings. “The London Jungle” Book sold 30,000 copies and has been published in 5 languages.

He has exhibited his work in India and multiple countries including Netherlands, Germany, Canada, England, Italy and France.

Bhajjuji has co-edited a compendium of Gond art Signature: Patterns in Gond Art and been the sole artist behind two more visual picture books for Tara: Flight of the Mermaid and That’s How I See Things. His latest book, Alone in the Forest is a children’s book that draws upon his own childhood fears of the forest to explore the psychology of fear.

He won the prestigious Padmashree award for his work in resurrecting and popularizing Gond Art in 2018.

Bhaona Masks : Goswami

Chau Masks: Bhim Sutradhar

Chau Mask Artist Duo

Let us introduce you to a veteran brother artist of Bhim Sutradhar (41 yrs) and Fatik Sutradhar is an accomplished CHAU ARTIST from Charida village of Purulia district of West Bengal. They were taught the art by their father and have been painting professionally for over fifteen years.

Bhim conducted several state level workshops held in Jan 2014 & Mar 2015 as part of Rural Craft Project, undertaken by UNESCO and Govt. of India- Ministry of Textiles- Development Commissioner of Handicrafts. Bhim exhibited his Chau masks and conducted mask making workshops in Pune, Mumbai, Goa, New Delhi, Chennai and Jaipur. He has participated in international trade fair in 2018 in Delhi.