The majority of Patachitra artists like Sonia Chitrakar (India b.1998) are now from Muslim communities but, as their patrons have traditionally been Hindu, they typically illustrate Hindu stories and follow patterns of worship from both religions such as Wedding of the birds. Stories of Radha and Krishna, Shiva and Parvati, and Sita and Rama are often told. There are also tales of divinities important in West Bengal, such as Manasa Mangala, the snake goddess.

Patachitra, or ‘pats’, are scroll paintings from West Bengal, intimately bound up with itinerant storytelling and songs. Historically, patachitra were cloth scrolls on which mythological or epic stories were painted as a sequence of frames. The artists (patua) would travel from village to village, slowly unrolling the scrolls and singing the stories. Patachitras have been compared to cinema frames or animation, and are said to be one of the oldest forms of audiovisual communication.

Exhibited in 'The 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art' (APT8) | 21 Nov 2015 – 10 Apr 2016


  • Title: Wedding of the birds
  • Creator: Sonia Chitrakar
  • Date Created: 2015
  • Location: India
  • Physical Dimensions: 277 x 56cm
  • Provenance: Purchased 2016 with funds from the Estate of Jessica Ellis through the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation. Collection: Queensland Art Gallery
  • Subject Keywords: APT8, India, Sonia Chitrakar
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: © The artist
  • External Link: Kalpa Vriksha: Contemporary Indigenous and Vernacular Art of India
  • Medium: Natural colour on mill-made paper with fabric backing

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