Kalyan Joshi comes from a lineage of Traditional Phad Painters of Rajasthan, India from as early as the 13th century. While retaining the essence of Phad, Kalyan Joshi is known for his experimental approach to line drawing and collage; character animation, and montage which give his stories a contemporary touch. He founded the Ankan Artists’ Group in addition to running Chitrashala, the brainchild of Padma Shri Shree Lal Joshi to develop and train new artists other than the traditional norm of teaching to only the Joshi family.
He not only received the Gauri Shankar Mehta Award and National Merit Award but has conducted over 200 workshops all over India. His work has been exhibited in shows in Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bhopal, Mumbai, Singapore, New York, London, and Spain, amongst others.
Abhinay Banker is a celebrated actor, director, and writer who has become a well-known figure in Gujarati theatre and cinema. While serving as a visiting faculty of theater arts in multiple universities, institutes and NGOs, his active engagement in the creative fields is outstanding! He is a recipient of multiple awards which commemorate his work such as the ‘BBC Youth Star Award, the Govt. of Gujrat Film award, Best Actor at Indian National Theatre, etc. Some of his most noticeable works include Pheadre in India, Welcome Zindagi, Akooper, Samudramanthan and Bhinti Maage.
Ahmedabad based Jayanti Chitara, comes from a family of artisans who have been upholding the tradition of painting known as Mata-ni-Pachhedi. It is derived from the Kalamkari style of paintings which involves drawing on a cotton fabric with the brush made of date palm stem; all the paints used are made of natural materials. Chitara and his kin are among the few surviving families in the Devi Pujak clan to practice this art form, which has been passed down the generations for 300 years. He has been engaged in creating the Mata-Ni-Pachedi for about 40 years. Alongside he also does block printing on textiles using direct dyes and pigments.
The Kathputli (puppet) makers and performers are led by Radha Bhatt and Subhash Bhatt who come from a community of traditional artists settled in Vadaj area, Ahmedabad. From making the puppets from scratch to bringing them alive on make-shift performance stage, these artists use puppets to entertain, portray everyday social realities as well as Indian legends.
Artists of the same community also explore the landscapes of Rajasthan and its timeless stories through the Kachhi Ghodi Dance, which uses mock fights and the brandishing of swords, nimble sidestepping and pirouetting to the music of fifes and drums.
The Bhopas are the priest-singers of the folk deities in the state of Rajasthan, India. They perform in front of a scroll, known as Phad, that depicts the episodes of the narrative of the folk deity and functions as a portable temple. The Bhopas carry this phad traditionally, and are invited by villagers to perform in their localities during times of sickness and misfortune. Shri Pappu Ram Bhopa and Kamla Devi are a part of this long winding tradition.