Information and Cultural Exchange (I.C.E.) has recently partnered with Westmead Community Hub on Madhubani, a project working with 10 migrant women in the Madhubani artform. Creative Producer, Pritika Desai, sat with Madhubani artist and workshop facilitator, Anamika, to find out more about Madhubani, how it is created and how she has used her skills to develop her own business.
P: Hi Anamika, thank you for agreeing to share your experience in Madhubani with us today.
For those of us who are unfamiliar with this art form, what is Madhubani?
A: It is one of the finest traditional folk arts developed in the Mithila region of Nepal, and surrounding villages of the Madhubani district in Bihar, India. The first reference to Madhubani art dates back to the Ramayana, when King Janak ordered his kingdom to decorate the city for his daughters wedding.
Traditionally, this art form was practiced by women of the village. During any festival, ladies would paint the wall and floor of the house. Paintings are done with fingers, twigs, fine brushed, nib pens and matchsticks using natural dyes and pigments. Earlier it was done on freshly plastered mud walls, but now it is done widely on canvas, papers and cloths. It is characterised by beautiful geometric patterns and bright colours.
P: And what kinds of images or themes are commonly painted?
A:Mythological paintings are based on stories of Gods and Goddesses. The natural themes that are used include the sun, the moon and plants. The empty space is filled with either cross or straight tiny lines.
Paintings are also based on daily activities done by villagers. Mythological painting is based on stories of Gods and Goddesses.
P: So, each painting has a theme and with it, a meaning, in which mythology, interactions in nature and life are represented.
How did you learn this art form and how long have you been working in it?
A: I learnt the artwork of Madhubani from the village, of the same name, where this folk art originated. I worked with village ladies using natural colours.
I have been working in Madhubani for 10-15 years. I run workshops and classes for Madhubani paintings. In Sydney, I worked with Family Creative Hub, produced by I.C.E. as a facilitator and taught digital Madhubani painting to migrant ladies and their kids. Currently, I am working with the Community Hub at Westmead Public School as a facilitator running Madhubani art workshops.
Recently I have participated in an art exhibition conducted by Community Migrant Resource Centre (CMRC) and my painting got awarded.
I have made several paintings on canvases and hand made papers. I have made several decorative pieces using Madhubani art like, like placemats, lamp shades, wooden trays and wall hangings. I have also worked on dresses and sarees using brushes and fine nibs.
P: Wow! You certainly have a lot of experience and it is inspiring to see you use your skills to develop the capacity of others, through the activities of your business.
A: I really love to share my skills with others, and feel very happy to see a positive response in people.
Anamika is currently facilitating Madhubani workshops at the Community Hub at Westmead Public School, a project of I.C.E. in partnership with Westmead Community Hub.
For enquires please contact
Creative Producer/Program Manager