Kumartuli Miniatures, 2013 - ongoing


This is an emerging series of miniature paintings that looks at Kumartuli, the historic northern quarter of the city of Kolkata. Home to a guild of potters, Kumars in Bengali, the area has often been identified by their religious clay figurines.

Kumartuli sits on the banks of the River Hooghly, a tributary of the Ganges and old jute godowns line the bank. The industry is now defunct and these huge neglected spaces have been divided and subdivided.Small workshops now crowd its interiors.

Stately houses belonging to Bengali gentry of the early part of the last century line its avenues. Now dilapidated, they provide hard-won space to a variety of small one-room workshops, making anything from plastic toys to t-shirts.

While modes of production in Kumartuli may look anachronistic to the outside, the economy it entangles with is real and relevant.

This series of paintings explores the area through the lens of labor while side-stepping the nostalgic iconography that so often represents the area.

Each 19X14.5 cm
Acrylic on linen