A painter of the “godna” (tattoo) style – a form of art practiced by Dalit artists from the region of Mithila in the state of Bihar – Urmila Devi overcame immense personal and societal obstacles on her way to becoming a highly regarded artist. In her versatile imagery filled with sumptuous ornamental effects and striking rhythmic patterning, she depicts pan-Indian and local deities and myths as well as scenes from everyday life. Urmila Devi lives in the village of Jitwarpur and is the head of a multi-generational family of painters which includes her son and granddaughter – who will also be interviewed as part of a series on Dalit artists in Mithila.
This video is a collaborative project with John H. Bowles, Aurogeeta Das, David Szanton, Sandali Thakur and S. Anand.
Urmila Devi’s index is still being compiled, check back again shortly.