Indian Folk Artists Create Beautiful Paintings With The COVID-19 Awareness Theme For Locals

By Chirali Sharma:

The coronavirus pandemic has led to the temporary closure of offices, businesses and much more leaving people sitting at home. While many are able to work from home, the artists of India are really letting their creativity shine during this time of crisis.

Artists around the country are taking this time to draw, paint and create art not only as per their interest but also to create awareness about the disease.

Soutik Biswas, an editor at BBC News, recently posted a beautiful thread where Indian folk artists had taken up native Indian art styles and used them to create artworks around the COVID-19 situation.

India’s folk artists have released a series of paintings to spread the message of #Social_Distancing and hygiene to prevent the spreading of #coronavirus. This is drawn by Apindra Swain, a #Pattachitra painter from #Odisha

- Soutik Biswas (@soutikBBC) May 2, 2020

This has brought light to not just things around the COVID-19 pandemic but also popularised various Indian folk art styles that had not been getting attention.

What Did These Indian Folk Artists Do?

Through a series of paintings, these artists are working to spread various messages that are very important during this time like hygiene, covering of the face, social distancing and more.

These acts are extremely important in order to break the chain of contamination and also to keep one’s health safe. Dastkar, a known society in India where craftspeople, artists and more can assemble, worked to put this project together.

A BBC report stated their explanation for this project as, “Traditionally many folk art forms in India were made on large scrolls or as murals to share information with the local community. Artists would hold up scrolls in village squares and share messages or generate awareness with visuals.”

Ambika Devi, an artist from Bihar has used the popular folk art style of Madhubani to spread the message of safety measures people should take while they are out.

Using the art style called Pattachitra that goes back to the 5th century, Apindra Swain has shown mythological and ancient people wearing face masks and washing hands.

Kalyan Joshi has taken up the native Rajasthani Phad painting style to convey safety messages in the local language. The Phad painting form is said to come from the medieval era.

Painted by Tulsidas Nimbark this artwork is done in a style of the 17th Century Rajasthani miniature tradition.

Created by Dwarika Prasad this artwork uses the Kavad art style, a form of storytelling originating from northern part of Rajasthan some 400 years ago.

It is quite heartening to see Indian folk artists come together and do humanitarian work while also bringing attention to Indian art styles that many of the younger generations are not all that familiar with.

Originally published at on May 6, 2020.

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