‘Mata ni Pachedi’ or ‘Behind the Mother Goddess” are hand painted mystical stories of the mother Goddess and her different forms. This art form is more than 300 years old and was originally painted on Temple walls. However, the lower caste was not allowed inside the temples and thus started making their own versions of the shrine of the mother goddess on fabric.
Mata ni Pachedi artworks are full of mystical versions of animal forms, humans, flora etc. They represent stories such as, ‘ the mother goddess appeared inside the sea and all the fish deities gathered in celebration…’
Mata ni Pachedi is done using ‘Kalam kari’ (penwork/hand-painted) technique and blocks are used to make outlines of the figures. It is a long process as natural pigments are used to paint these. The fabric goes through many times of boiling and washing at different stages to achieve the desired colors.
There are few families in Gujarat that have kept this art form alive. This oral tradition of storytelling has been passed down to them by their ancestors and they take much pride in it. One such family is that of Kiritbhai in Ahmedabad. They believe in the luck and blessings of the mother and the entire family of 6 people is involved in making these spiritual pieces of art.
Each piece is exquisite and cannot be replicated; although a similar piece can be made. They are made on Cotton fabric. These artworks take 1-3 months to make depending on the size and intricacy.
I work closely with the mata ni pachedi family and also try to market and package their work. Custom designed wall pieces painted in natural pigments are possible too.