Introducing the work of Pragati Mishra

Pragati Mishra, seen here with her young nephew, is a young woman from Churu, a small town in Rajasthan, who was born completely deaf.  "Pragati" is Hindi for "Progress", which has certainly proved true in her life up till now:

From the age of five she was showing an interest in drawing was able over the years to learn to read and write, in addition to lip-reading and sign language. Learning both at home, from her mother, a science graduate and spending three years at the deaf and dumb school in Jaipur, she learned Hindi and English, both written and typed, and matriculated in 1997.

Having shown a long-time skill in drawing, in 1993 she began making hand-painted greetings cards, but became understandably bored with the repetitive nature of the work.  She was encouraged by Dr O P Joshi, a retired sociology professor who has formed an association of traditional folk artists, to take up painting, which she has done to great effect.

She has adopted a technique of folk painting very much her own, rather than conventional Rajasthani styles. In traditional painting in Rajasthan, such as Phad painting, originally paints were made by hand, using vegetable dyes and ground minerals. Nowadays poster colours, even on canvas, have largely taken over, offering more versatility and longevity, but lacking water-resistance.  Pragati, however, goes even further and uses acrylic paints on carefully stretched cotton canvas. Her sense of colour is exceptional and goes far beyond the traditional use of a rather limited palette. So many more colours are available now and she knows instinctively how to use them.  I feel that her natural skill and imagination will take her eventually far beyond the rather strict confines of traditional folk art, hopefully enabling her to meld traditional arts with contemporary thoughts and ideas.

Churu is 250 km. from Jaipur, the state capital, and is a very small town, but Pragati is able to remain in contact with art activities and has organised three one-person exhibitions both at Ajmer and Jaipur.

Please contact us if you are interested in any of Pragati's pieces, the details being at the bottom of the Avenues of Sight index page. 




Peacock and Young  -  acrylic on canvas  -  91 x 56 cm



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