Book & DVD. 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 every where 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 every thing 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.
This book and accompanying DVD are complements to an exhibition at the Mingei International Museum in San Diego, through Spring 2010.
Stephen P Huyler is an American ethnologist, writer and photographer conducting a cross cultural survey of Indian folk art. During each of the past twenty-three years, he has spent several months travelling extensively throughout India, documenting craftsmanship and contemporary traditions. Beginning with a research project on the terracottas of Tamilnadu in 1971, he has continued to document clay sculpture and its production and use in rural communities, particularly in ritual worship. With degrees in Indian history and art history from the University of Denver, he prepared his Ph.D. thesis at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies. His doctoral topic was a survey of rural India terracottas, focusing on contemporary traditions as a means for understanding their ancient counterparts.