Bengal Patachitras are an ancient folk art, and at Irris, we patronize artists who use this style. Patachitra (pronounced: “pot-o-cheetro”) is made up of two words:
Pata (meaning cloth) and Chitra (meaning picture).
These paintings are traditionally stories on rolls of cloth, which are sung out loud by the artists who make them. Originally depicting Gods and Goddesses, especially Durga and Saraswati, deities of the Bengali community, Patachitras now depict contemporary events and social messages such as education and sexuality as well.
What's Special About Our Collection
At Irris, we understand that Folk Art is an essential symbol of culture. It is history alive, showing how particular peoples have come to be, and why they believe what they believe. Impacted by Hindu Gods and Goddesses, these are rich in values, and also rich in visual appeal. This is why our collection depicts deities, in a colour palette which matches various spatial scenarios.
The mood defining our collection is that artists are from the villages, where every wall, every brick is a work of art. Internet is unheard of, and all that children have for toys, is nature.
DURGA- The Warrior Goddess
Durga is the Omnipresent mother. She is the granter of wishes, the divine, the benevolent, and is at the same time, the Warrior Goddess, powerful and protective. Her ‘vaahan’ is sometimes shown to be a Lion ,and sometimes a Tiger. Durga combats evil and is sometimes referred to as Shakti, the power that runs the universe. Her other names are Anwita and Sutada.
KRISHNA-SHAMLI- The Eternal Life Force
The story of Krishna and Shamli is immortal, and is often the inspiration in books and films of Hindu culture. One will often find a painting of the two of them in people’s homes, symbolizing devotion: Unsolicited Bhakti.
SARASWATI- Goddess of Wisdom
Saraswati is the charming and strong wife of the Creator of the Universe, Brahma- Sh travels the Universe, playing the veena, on her Swan as a ‘vaahan’ or vehicle, the symbol of spiritual perfection, transcendence and moksha. Saraswati is the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, art, wisdom and learning. She is worshipped throughout Nepal and India. She is a part of the trinity (Tridevi) of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati. Her other names are Hamsini and Bilvani.
Folk Art is a rich valuable symbol of culture and history of various communities. It depicts in the simplest of ways, how a particular community comes to be, and what its beliefs are shaped by.
Thousands of communities have had their own Folk Art forms for tens of centuries, wherein older generations have passed their knowledge to the younger ones.
At Irris, we are sure these Arts are important for society. The stories, heritage and values they impart, are pillars of our wisdom and knowledge. Their beauty fits in wonderfully with all kinds of spaces, especially transitional and contemporary, and moreover, teaches the younger generation of a time, when everything was made at home, by hand.
We therefore, travel, look out for special communities, collect, curate and commission. With this, we launch our painting collection with the Bengal Patachitra and Kalighat School of Art.