The art of Sonabai Rajawar has no precedent. She is one of the few self-taught artists of India, whose story expresses the capacity of human beings everywhere to meet their challenges head-on, and to draw from deep within their inner resources the strength and insight to change their lives.
Sonabai: Another Way of Seeing is the result of years of research by the author. Through stories, insightful documentation and evocative images in colour, he conveys Sonabai’s life and that of her family and community, portraying the remarkable productivity that resulted from her isolation, and the influence she had on the work of seven other local artists.
For a decade and a half, Sonabai was forcibly removed from almost
everything she had known growing up. Undaunted, she found ways to transform her oppression into expressions of beauty and joy in living, creating an entirely new artistic expression with no guidance or instruction. Her art was completely different from anything ever seen in India before—a world of colour, light, and whimsy—all her own.
Sonabai: Another Way of Seeing and its accompanying DVD are
complements to an exhibition at the Mingei International Museum
in San Diego, through Spring 2010.
Stephen P Huyler is a cultural anthropologist, author and photo
grapher, who has a life-long interest in India. His work focuses on folk arts and crafts, with particular attention given to sacred ritual and the identity and empowerment of Indian women. He has featured Sonabai in his last book, Daughters of India (Mapin, 2008).
178 colour photographs with CD