Jabbar Khatri (Rogan Artist)
The Rogan art of painting is an ancient art, over 300 years old and has been passed on from father to son. Jabbar’s village, Nirona ,in Kutch, Gujarat is the only place where this work is still practiced. It is a rare and beautiful craft; but has not found appreciative patrons to sustain itself. Most families have abandoned the craft to find other jobs to sustain themselves. The Khatri’s are the only Rogan Art family left.
Rogan art is not well known, even in India. Potli has collaborated with the Khatri family to take this art worldwide and save it from dying.
State Award in – 2014
International Craft Designer Award 2019
Ishwar Naik (Chittara Artist)
The unassuming Ishwar Naik, from Malnad region of Karnataka, honoured by the President of India, has single-handedly revived Chittara Art. Ishwar Naik has over 20 years of experience and is considered by many as one of the foremost master-craftsmen in this tribal and folk art tradition. “Since the tribal traditions of Chittara were so fundamental to life, it had a deep impact on me. I was surrounded by it when I was most impressionable” he says explaining how he grew up with Chittara.
Potli supports Ishwar Naik in his endeavour to keep this tradition alive.
Awarded by the President of India
Prakash Joshi (Phad Artist)
Prakash is from the well-known Joshi family in Rajasthan that has been into painting Phad art for almost 300 years. “I was not allowed to leave my hometown so I stayed back and started helping my father with his art.” Prakash took to the art of Phad when he was a child, from his well-known father Nand Kishore. He has been awarded District , State and National Awards for his work. Prakash Joshi now runs a Phad Art school called Chitrashaala in Bilwara.
District, State and National Award Winner
Baua Devi (Madhubani Artist)
At 68, age does not allow her to paint on the mud walls of her village home in Jitwarpur, Bihar, any more, but Baua Devi is one of the pioneers of Madhubani painting, an ancient folk art from the Madhuban area of Bihar. Devi was the youngest among the first group of artists who transported traditional Maithili patterns onto white sheets of paper in 1966. Baua devi, is the senior most artist in our team, and leads us with her talent, wisdom and rootedness. Lucky to have her with us.
Sujith (Keral Mural Artist)
Sujith, M.P, from Wayanad district of Karnataka, South India, is a young and totally unassuming person, and an exponent of a nearly dying art form, the Kerala mural painting. Sujith learnt the art of Kerala Mural Painting from his Guru, Azhikode in 2004. He took it upon himself to revive this artform and has been quite successful in his efforts. He runs his own school to teach Kerala Mural Painting, in Waynad, called Bhavm Mural Arts. Potli supports him in his efforts to revive this art form.
Tauseef Mian (Kite Maker, Rampur)
For Tauseef Mian, kite flying and making has been a passion from before he was even born! This tradition, which was started by his grandfather has been carried on as a family tradition. The young Tauseef grew up flying kites and watching them being made. In Rampur, where his family has lived for generations, kite-flying is not just a pleasurable hobby, it’s an obsession. Potli supports this family of passionate kite makers in spreading their love for kites to the young children.
Banamali Mohapatra (Ganjifa Cards Artist, Odisha)
Shri Banamali Mohapatra, one of last few bastions of Ganjifa Painting, has been painting Ganifa Cards and Patachitras – traditional paintings of Orissa made on leaves, bark or on cloth – for the last forty years. He was awarded the President’s National Award in 1996 for painting Ganjifa Cards. In spite of having won laurels and the highest merit award, he and his son still struggle to keep this art alive.
Although Ganjifa Cards grace London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, Germany’s Deutsches Spielkarten Museum in Leinfelden and Austria’s Museum for Volkerkunde in Vienna, in order to bring alive the age-old magic of the game, people have to start playing with them once more.
Potli has taken upon itself to bring this game and the craft alive and support Banamaliji’s efforts and vision.
President’s National Award, 1996
Abdul and Sajjid Gaffar Khatri (Bandhani craftsman, Bhuj)
Abdul Ghaffar Khatri and his son, Sajjid Khatri, for his intricate and exclusive work in Bandhani has been awarded by the President of India. He is among the Khatri tribe, that still practices the fine art of traditional Bandhani, or the tie dye. While women in his household tie the knots, men folk prepare for the dyeing in the other corner of the house. Khatri’s son has taken over the family tradition, unlike his peer group who have chosen to take up well paid jobs in the cities. Potli is promoting this craft by collaborating with the khatris in giving a hand- on experience of traditional bandhani to children and adults, alike.
Awarded by the President of India
Venkat Raman Singh Shyam (Gond Artist)
Venkat Raman Singh Shyam was born into a Pardhan Gond family in the village of Sijhora, in Central India. Venkat’s father worked as a peon in a school in the village.
Venkat learnt the Gond Tribal art from his uncle, the famous Gond artist Jangarh Singh Shyam. He took up several jobs to make a living before he became a professional artist—all of which influence his art in different ways. He worked as a labourer, domestic help in delhi, signboard artist and house painter and even plied a cycle rickshaw in Delhi. Venkat has now had many exhibitions worldwide and is working on a graphic autobiography Finding My Way.
Desing (Pithora Artist)
Desing, from Rathwa Tribe in Gujarat, used to work as a daily wage labourer earlier and draw pithoras on cloth in his spare time. Through Bhasha, and organization working in tribal languages, he got a chance to draw the pithora illustrations in a local magazine, Bol. He has not been to school and therefore the stories were read out to him. His illustrations, detailed and spontaneous, became extremely popular with children. Since then, Desing has not looked back. We support his efforts and vision.
Namita Tewari (Aipan Artist, Kumaon)
Namita Tiwari is an award winning Aipan practitioner, from Almora. She is at the forefront of reviving the art form. She has been encouraging and teaching young girls to paint Aipan, and helps them earn a livelihood through this art. Namita wants to carry the legacy of this traditional art form and the cultural identity of Almora. We, at Potli support her in this endeavor.
Akram Khan (Block Maker, Farukkabad)
Mohd Akram Khan , a block maker in Farukkhabad, whom Potli supports , along with a group of 12 block makers, is one of the very few people in the dusty lanes of this bustling town, Farukkhabad , trying to preserve this craft as well as their livelihood.