Born 1969, Bhilwara, Rajasthan
Lives and works in Bhilwara

Phad paintings are scrolls customarily made on treated cloth and painted with natural pigments. They illustrate epic stories composed around a central deity, Pabuji or Dev Narayan, two deified heroes important in Rajasthan. The scrolls form a visual backdrop to all-night performances accompanied by music, song and dance. Referred to as 'reading phad', the performances would follow the reading from scene to scene, each component of the narrative illuminated with an oil lamp. Like the Kaavad shrines from Rajasthan, the scrolls were made by one group of artists, but commissioned and performed by a different community, the Bhopas. While the performances follow a set chronology, the paintings themselves are non-linear and scatter multiple dimensions of time, space and scale across the canvas. Generally large in size and richly coloured, Phads can be painted by more than one artist, who sits on a canvas spread over the ground. Kalyan Joshi is from the Joshi family of Bhilwara, the traditional artists to practice this form. With his father he established Chitrashala, a training institute for reviving and maintaining this vibrant tradition.

KALPA VRIKSHA: Contemporary Indigenous and Vernacular Art of India