We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Group dance





1968 –

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Ganjad Maharashtra India
    Cultural origin
    Contemporary (Adivasi, tribal or folk) circa 1950 - onwards → India
    Media category
    Materials used
    rice paste and poster colour on paper
    58.3 x 90.8 cm sheet
    Signature & date

    Signed l.r. corner, Devanagari script, white poster paint, "Minakshi Vasukhe Vayeda". Not dated.

    Purchased 1993
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Minakshi

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    Artist information

    Works in the collection


  • About

    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.

    In the early 1970s, due to certain government initiatives, painters in the Warli villages of the Thane district, north of Mumbai began a transition from strictly mural painting to a more portable format of painting on paper. Whereby the earlier mural painting had been performed solely by women on ceremonious occasions such as marriage, the new format which altered the context of production, not only marked a change in technique and material but also expanded the field to include male painters and the depiction of more quotidian subjects.

    Minakshi was born into a community of Varli or Warli people in Ganjad, in rural Maharastra. Traditionally she painted on the walls of domestic dwellings but as her practise grew she travelled to different centres around India to exhibit her paintings made using a grass blade, rice paste and poster colour on paper or cloth. Her painting often has the diagrammatic quality of a pictogram but is rendered with an exquisite attention to detail that captures the nuances of everyday life.
    In this painting a group of dancers, arm in arm, spiral around a central figure who is playing the Warli pipe ( tarpa) in a celebration of Diwali (the festival of light) in honour of the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. Lamps and fireworks used to illuminate the night and ward off evil on this festive occasion can be seen held in the hands of the figures on the outside of the dancing group. The artist's eye for detail and delight in celebrating everyday events, weaving them into larger compositions, is a distinguishing feature of her work.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

    • India Songs, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 01 Apr 1993–09 May 1993

      India Songs, Wollongong Art Gallery, Wollongong, 15 May 1993–12 Jun 1993

      India Songs, Orange Regional Gallery, Orange, 25 Jun 1993–31 Jul 1993

      India Songs, Canberra School of Art Gallery, Canberra, 05 Aug 1993–04 Sep 1993

      India Songs, 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

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

Other works by Minakshi