Sonabai Makes Friends with Painting – India

When I went through radiation, I distracted myself  by making art. When my expectations of life don’t go the way I hope, I plunge myself into my art.  When I want to relax or when I want to have a good fight with a canvas, I make art. Art is in my bones.
The following is a true story about a woman who used art to survive a very lonely existance.

Sonabai was discovered by the Indian artworld and awarded India’s highest honor given to an artist, the President’s Award.

She grew up in a house full of relatives living a full, happy life. Through an arranged marriage, this 25 year old married a 45 year old widow. He was a jealous man and moved her out  of town where she had grown up and forbid her to have any contact with anyone. She was only allowed to go the the well behind her house and to the fields to work. One day she wanted to shield herself from the strong  sun. She built a bamboo structure, covered it with clay and painted the screen white. Sonabai gave birth to one son. Soon the boy needed a toy with which to play. She made some clay and paint with the natural materials found within her compound and created a horse.  After that she embellished her house and added to the lattice. She created ornaments, images of people, Hindu gods and goddesses and more. There has been an exhibit of her work in San Diego, California http://www.mingei.org/exhibitions/sonabai

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