Swarna Chitrakar is a traditional scroll painter from the eastern Indian state of West Bengal. Born in Naya village of Pingla block in Paschim Medinipur district, she belongs to a family of Patuas who practice a unique folk art of painting-cum-storytelling through songs. Swarna, now in her late forties, has been practicing the art since she was a child. She bagged the state-level award in 1994. Over the last two decades, she has been critically acclaimed across India and abroad. Till the summer of 2018, Swarna had visited the US five times and the UK twice, apart from France, Italy, Germany and Sweden to showcase her art skills, to collaborate with artists and to participate in residency programs. Her paintings are bought by connoisseurs and collectors. Here is a blog by curator of Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage Betty Belanus on how Swarna Chitrakar interpreted the pandemic through her scroll.
Swarna Chitrakar had exhibited her paintings and performed Pata songs in the Grinnell College, Iowa, USA between the 1st and the 10th of October, 2017. She displayed her wonderful works and sang the songs in a sublime manner. Everyone was enchanted by her celebration of the Patachitra art form. She also spoke on the heritage of folk art in the Faulkner Gallery. The exhibition organized there had folk art from India displayed and was aptly titled ‘Many Visions, Many Versions’.
Swarna Chitrakar participated in the 7th General Assembly of UNESCO held at Paris, France in 2018 and exhibited some of her exquisite works of art.
Swarna Chitrakar participated as a part of the Indian contingent to International Trade Fair in 2013 in Berlin where she mesmerized the attendees with her painting and singing.