The original inhabitants of India are most correctly described by the umbrella term Adivasi. Under this term a large number of communities exist with different social, religious and artistic practises.
Teju belongs to the Pauva caste, also known as Jogi or Bharathari. Traditionally their profession was to wake people at dawn, by singing. Painting was done directly onto the walls of domestic dwellings and Teju is well known for her many murals on cow-dung and clay walls in Delhi and Udaipur.
During the 1980’s the Bharat Bhavan arts centre located in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh encouraged local and international curators and artists to visit Adivasi communities as a way of promoting their cultural practises. This acted as a catalyst for many Adivasi painters who found new subjects and mediums for painting.
Teju for example, was encouraged by the Baroda School painter, Haku Shah to begin drawing on paper. She first began drawing on paper and first showed her works on paper in 1985 at the Crafts Museum in Delhi and later at the Volkenkundemuseum, Zurich University, 1992 and 'Prakriti', Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, 1993. She often portrays herself in her work and is directly inspired by the things around her, her house, children and Hindu beliefs. While Teju's art does not derive from a particular 'Adivasi' style, it nevertheless displays influences from Rhajastani painting and represents a contemporary style of folk painting.
Asian Art Department, AGNSW, April 2016
The term Adivasi (original inhabitants) is the preferred term for referring to the tribal peoples of India and their art. This artist belongs to the Pauva caste [also known as Jogi or Bharathari]. Her work does not relate directly to an Adivasi style but represents a contemporary style of folk painting.
poster colour on paper
152.0 x 196.0 cm
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Not on display
Shown in 2 exhibitions
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 01 Apr 1993–09 May 1993
- Wollongong Art Gallery, Wollongong 15 May 1993–12 Jun 1993
- Orange Regional Gallery, Orange 25 Jun 1993–31 Jul 1993
- Canberra School of Art Gallery, Canberra 05 Aug 1993–04 Sep 1993
- Campbelltown Arts Centre, Campbelltown 17 Sep 1993–24 Oct 1993
Indian Folk Paintings and Textiles, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 29 May 2004–04 Jul 2004
Referenced in 1 publication
Victoria Lynn, India Songs: multiple streams in contemporary Indian art, Sydney, 1993, 48, 54. cat no. 56