Art in Focus – February 2021
Traditional Bihar designs
Baby Sharma, natural dyes and pigments
Baby Sharma is painting a design traditional to the Madhubani or Mithila region of Bihar, India. These paintings – done by hand, using natural dyes and pigments – mostly depict deities from the ancient epics.
In 2012, artists led by Shashthi Nath Jha, who ran the NGO Gram Vikas Parishad, realised that vital trees were being cut down to make way for expanding roads and development. They devised an ingenious plan to protect them. The artists, many of them women, realised that if they painted traditional images of gods and goddess directly onto the trees, they would be seen as sacred, so could not be cut down. Since then, many thousands of trees have been saved by the women’s colourful art.
Art in focus is curated by Meryl Doney
This article was published in the February 2021 edition of Reform