Kalyan Joshi

Kalyan Joshi

For 700 years, this one family from Bhilwara in Rajasthan, were the makers of “Phad” art. A Phad (literally, fold) was a mobile temple, between 15 and 30 ft long, a hand woven coarse cotton cloth that was starched and shone with moonstone,  commissioned by a Bhopa, or priest. There are particular colours used, each signifying something, and black is used at the end to outline. The last bit of painting is the eye of the hero - when this is put in, the Phad becomes a Living Being. The story was always of Devnarayan or Pabuji, both folk deities. As the Bhopa narrated the story, singing it out to a rapt audience who watched the cloth unfold, his wife the Bhopi, danced the tale. Master Artist Kalyan took over the mantle of his father who started a school to open the art out to a wider world, and he uses his art as a tool to narrate anything of social significance.