Shahpura School of Phad Painting ✿ Coronavirus advice


2 April 2020

Our April laurel goes to the Shahpura School of Phad Painting, including Vijay and Vivek Joshi, who produced a canvas that beautifully details the dos and don’ts in response to the coronavirus.

Vivek Joshi describes their painting:

This painting describes the origin of coronavirus. It tells us about all the precautions which we should follow in the prevention of corona disease. We should consult a doctor if we have cough sore throat and fever. We should not hide our symptoms from others. Isolation and self-quarantine is the only remedy of this disease. We should also wash our hands with hand wash and sanitizer. These pictures are very suggestive. They tell us not to handshake, keep a distance of at least one metre from others, always keep social distancing and only say “Namaste”. On 20 March 2020 our great Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi came on national television and demanded “Janata curfew” on 22 March for the whole day. He also demanded to clap hands and Beat Thali for 5 minutes from 5:00 pm to 5:05 pm to honour of frontline warriors such as doctors, nursing staff, police, army and the sanitary department. It was a great successful programme. All the people followed it and played Tali and Thali. The painting also describes Yoga, listening to songs, reading books, playing with children and other leisure activities. At last, a map of India is framed in this painting which shows the unity in diversity of India. We Indians are ready to kick away the devil of Corona. In India, there is no difference of caste, colour, Creed and religion. This painting gave an awareness message to the whole world about this dangerous disease and tells us that only precautions can keep us safe from COVID19.

The Shahpura School Phad Painting artists are Shanti Lal Joshi, Vijay Joshi, Vivek Joshi, Pratibha Joshi, Suman Joshi, Anushka Josh and Athrav Joshi.

Suman Joshi, Pratibha Joshi, Anushka Joshi, Athrav Joshi

Vivek Joshi provides a background to the phad paintings of his family:

The origin of my phad painting can be traced back 700 years. The credit of this art goes to the forefathers of the Joshi family in Shahpura, Rajasthan, to which I belong.

In 1629, the Phulia pargana (district subdivision) of which present Shahpura had been a part, was allotted to Raja Sujan Singh in lieu of his services rendered to the Emperor Shahjahan. Later on, the capital Phulia was shifted to the newly settled town named Shahpura in honour of the Emperor Shahjahan. The Joshi family had already initiated and developed this art much earlier than the existence of Shahpura, which was to be one of the Princely States in Rajasthan.

First, I want to bring to your knowledge that my art of phad paintings is a rich legacy from my forefathers. Second, this unique and ancient art of phad painting is known as Shahpura school phad painting. All the devices and technique used for painting are our home products. The cloth used for painting is also moulded by ourselves. All kinds of colours used are also our own preparation.

Vijay Joshi and Vivek Joshi

The entire process of creating a phad painting is quite meticulous. Right after choosing a subject or story, a khadi cloth is laid out on the floor or a wooden table. Rice paste is applied on this cloth especially in the month of March and April, which when dried is rubbed with mohra to bring shine on the cloth. This readies the surface for drawing light figure sketches with chaka in yellow. The most interesting part of phad painting is that it’s made with colours which are derived out of powdered stones collected from river beds and mountains, all by hand.

In order to keep alive all the characteristics of this art, my family is traditionally doing its best to nurture it wholeheartedly. No member of my family resides outside Shahpura 311404 proper.

We have received full training in the phad art under the guidance of my father Shri Shanti Lal Joshi who enjoys the privilege of National Award Winner. This honour was bestowed upon him by Shri Shankar Dayal Sharma in 1991 Shri. Sharma happened to be the president of India then. On my part, I, too, had the privilege to win the applause of many art critics. Despite some heavy odds all the members of my family are creatively busy to keep a-live this valuable art who were highly appreciated and won the esteemed applause of many art cities.

To read about their phad in honour of Mahatma Gandhi, check Phad painting: On the 150th anniversary of Gandhi’s birthday by Khushbu Mathur. 

Making a phad painting about the coronavirus featuring Vivek Joshi:

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