Sanjay Chitara

Sanjay Chitara

Master artist Sanjay is from the Vaghari tribe in Gujarat, once nomadic, who were not allowed into temples, and so created their own shrines wherever they were. These shrines were to the Mother Goddess, and were made from painted cloths joined together, behind the Mother - or "Mata ni Pachedi”. Derived from the Kalamkari style of paintings, the method involves drawing on a cotton cloth with a stick made from a date plant, using natural dyes. The motif of an austere goddess is usually at the centre, with details of mountains, animals, trees, rivers and natural flora. There is a different Goddess for every part of the year. The process is long and involves whole families, from preparing the cloth to dyeing in the flowing waters of the Sabarmati river to drying in the hot sun, and Sanjay has been foremost in his family to make change : adding new colours, greater finesse and experimenting with contemporary themes.