Meet Our Pattachitra Artisans
Art and Impact is collaborating with two remarkable artists who work with their cell of artisans and family, creating beautiful pieces of Pattachitra paintings. Through them Art and Impact is connected with more artists like them who are doing similar work, helping many generate revenue during these difficult times where tourism is low as another devastating effect of the pandemic.
Pattachitra is a sense of pride for all of its artisan communities, much like for Bijay Kumar Barikim, who is a third-generation family member to be involved with this art form. His family members as well as several apprentices work with him to chum out beautiful pieces of art. He is well-renowned in his village and has has received the prestigious Prafulla Dahanukar Art Foundation Gold Medal for his outstanding work.
Another famous artist Aprindra Swain, hails from a family who has been involved with palm-leaf engraving for generations, began his own journey at the tender age of 10. He underwent a formal training by GOI in Bhubaneshwar and was identified by Dastakar to put up a month long exhibition at NIFT Delhi. He was later invited by them and Dastakari Haat Samiti for their exhibition which brought his art lots of recognition and repute. He is one artist who is trying to juxtapose his traditional art into modern artefacts such as kettles, bottles, leather purses and experiments with new styles, such as adding calligraphy to his art.
He has also been a pioneer in changing his paintings to depict the lifestyle changes that came with the onset of the pandemic and thus, helped in raising awareness about it. He painted unique pictures where his figures were seen wearing a mask and his works spread the message of washing hands regularly. He was also recognised by the Postal Department and was requested to make his artwork as a depiction of the work of Postal Department and postmen during the pandemic.
For these artisans, their art is a source of much pride and is close to their heart. Their contribution is not only keeping Indian traditions alive but also upholding modern concepts. Their adaptation to the pandemic and endeavours to raise awareness about the same is laudable. Their intense passion is kept alive by passing it on to the future generations, making it an undying art form.