“Dheeya”(girl child), one of Bihar's Mithila paintings prepared by Bihar-born young artist Nupur Nishith, has recently received Certificate of Recognition (CoR) at COLOR, the US juried prominent art show. The art show was organised by Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition in New York. The show started on 23rd July and will culminate on 14th August, 2016.
“Dheeya” showcases a girl child seeing the world from the womb with all the grace and divinity. Where, on the positive side, she expects a colourful and exciting world as a future with festivities and happiness. However, it also had a negative side, where she is warned that she may not be welcomed in the world. As the Red colour is a symbol for two contrasting expectations, namely warning and festivity.
Nupur stated that she is proud of the recognition her painting, inspired from the folk art of small region in a faraway country (India), fetched at the US art show. She added that she is glad to get a chance to meet some really talented artists from various parts of the country.
Nupur informed that Lilian Tone, the juror for the show and assistant curator at The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York, had sought for an open call for all artists across the US to submit paintings based on the theme colour. In response, around 1,780 entries were submitted and only 105 entries made it for the main exhibition. On the first day of the art show, the top 13 entries were declared and only 10 received Certificate of Recognition, including Nupur's art.
Nupur had moved to the US in 2011 and has been working on evolving the art form with new avenues and different bases such as paper, cloth, wood, ceramic, terracotta, glass and everyday products besides the traditional paintings on walls and floors.
Nupur revealed that she was able to increase the reach of the paintings by taking the art form to digital route enabling the paintings to be printed in different modes. She commented "My digital paintings have featured in an award winning film”.
She reflected on the challenge she faced on popularising Mithila art by saying, "Since I moved to New York, it was a challenge to bring an ancient Mithila art form in the world driven by modern abstract art. People would appreciate the details and colours of traditional art, but could not relate much to the mythological themes".
Perhaps the best known genre of Indian folk paintings is the Mithila (also called Madhubani) paintings from the Mithila region of Bihar state. These painting originated in the Mithila state of Nepal and in the Bihar state of India. Painting is conducted with fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens, and matchsticks, using natural dyes and pigments, and is characterized by eye-catching geometrical patterns. The painting was traditionally done on freshly plastered mud walls and floors of huts, but now they are also done on cloth, handmade paper and canvas.