Aditi Sharma

Melbourne

I specialized in Phad Painting of Rajasthan (India). I use natural color to paint. My all paintings have some meanings. They are based on Indian folk stories and mythology.
I experimented Phad Painting with new stories and Contemporary style (Collage) and line drawing , mixing it with Australian art , giving it a Indo western touch.

Education and Exhibitions
●B.com, MBA
● I have learnt from ‘Padma Shri’ awarded (Indian National Award) guru ji Shree Lal ji & his son Kalyan Joshi, Gopal Joshi

Artworks: 5


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About Aditi Sharma

I specialized in Phad Painting of Rajasthan (India). I use natural color to paint. My all paintings have some meanings. They are based on Indian folk stories and mythology.
I experimented Phad Painting with new stories and Contemporary style (Collage) and line drawing , mixing it with Australian art , giving it a Indo western touch.

Education and Exhibitions
●B.com, MBA
● I have learnt from ‘Padma Shri’ awarded (Indian National Award) guru ji Shree Lal ji Joshi, his son Kalyan Joshi
& Gopal Joshi from his institutes ‘Ankan Kala Sansthan’ and ‘Chitrashala’.
● I had my first exhibition with IAA (Indian Australian Artists)
‘Mahamati Ganapat’ art show in Narre Warren , Melbourne (VIC)
●Owner of RANG (Rajasthan’s art now Global)

ABOUT PHAD CHITRA : SOUL OF RAJASTHAN

Phad is cloth and wall painting that visually depicts the story of the local hero-god. While the story is narrated using songs and dance, the visual impact provided by the phad. Stories of Pabuji and Devnarayanji are popular in Rajathan, especially if they are in Phad style.

Phad Paintings : A Brief Introduction

The large-scale horizontal paintings on cloth portraying the epic lives of the local hero-gods are popularly known as Phad paintings. These paintings have the mammoth task of representing a complex and a full blown folk epic narrative, which it achieves through a very specific style of representation, filled with figures and pictorial incidents, these paintings form a kind of dramatic backdrop to epic story telling performances.

Since they depict the different episodes, these paintings are customarily opened or unrolled only after sundown, in conjunction with the all night performance. This could be one reason for these paintings to be called Phad. Which means folds in Rajasthani dialect. The word Phad is possibly derived from Sanskrit word patt. The painters who traditionally engage themselves in the profession of Phad painting are known as Phad painter.

The principal subjects for the paintings are the life of two legendary Rajasthani heroes-Pabuji and Devnarayanji- who are worshipped as the incarnation of lord Vishnu and Laxman. Each hero-god has a different performer-priest or Bhopa. The repertoire of the bhopas consists of epics of some of the popular local hero-gods such as Pabuji, Devji, Tejaji, Gogaji, Ramdevji.The Phad also depict the lives of Ramdev Ji, Rama, Krishna, Budhha and Mahaveera. The iconography of these forms has evolved in a distinctive way. All Phads, no matter which hero-god they present, have certainly similarities.

Every available inch of the canvas is crowded with figures. Another similarity is flat construction of the pictorial space. While the figures are harmoniously distributed all over the area, the scale of figure depends on the social status of the character they represent and the roles they play in the story.

Another interesting feature is that the figures in the paintings do not face the audience; rather, they face each other. These paintings are very wide to accommodate the numerous episodes of the complex stories.

Phad Stories and History

Phad illustrate mostly two popular epic traditions of Rajasthan. There are Phads for other deities, but these are rare. Phads of Ramdevji, a Rajput hero and saint from Marwar who opposed caste discrimination, can be found, is revered by Bhambis, Meghwals, Chamars and other belong to the schedule caste. But the most popular one is about Pabuji Rathore, A Rajput chieftain, whose elder brother rules at Kolu. He is venerated as an incarnation of Lord Rama’s brother Lakshman by Rebari camel-herders. The second story is about the twenty four brothers (Bagrawat) and Lord Devnarayan. They are popular among cattle-keeper, farmers and rural craftsman who generally lives in the eastern part of Rajathan. Devnarayan is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and his story parallels Krishna’s story many way. Devnarayan probably lived in the 10th century A.D., Pabuji in 14th century, and Ramdeviji in the 15th century. They all are “Cattle Heroes” who rescued the community’s cattle and died as a result. Cattle heroes are collectively known as “Bhomiyo”. Only some Bhomiyo become powerful gods and their cult develop epic poems and network of shrines.

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