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The House That Sonabai Built

Vishakha Chanchani (Author) Stephen P. Huyler (Photography)

As a young woman, Sonabai Rajawar finds herself alone, day after day after day, for almost fifteen years of marriage. No family, no friends... And then one day, she ‘makes’ her way out of her oppressive loneliness into a world of creativity, beauty and joy.

This sensitive telling of Sonabai’s story follows her transformative artistic journey from the tactile experience of her first creations in clay, innovative experiments with colour and light and unfettered play with pattern and design, to being embraced by the art world.

Rich photographs augment the telling, for a fascinating introduction to the life, work and milieu of this quietly strong, self-taught artist. Together, they offer a detailed look at her art and the organic growth of her distinctive creative vision. In the process, they also evoke a compelling profile in courage and the larger story of how Sonabai’s art, like all great art, transcends the personal to the universal.

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About the authors

Vishakha Chanchani

Vishakha Chanchani has written and illustrated several books for children, and has been an art education in Bengaluru for over 25 years.

As an student, she was never convinced about working with clay. But many years later, she found herself working alongside potters and women artisans in a handicrafts unit- living, building with and firing clay! deeply inspiring, and reaffirmed Vishakha's conviction about the joyfulness of crearing with clay.

Stephen P. Huyler

Author and Photographer Stephen P. Huyler has spend three-and-a-half decades documenting Indian art as it relates to ritual and society. As a cultural anthropologist conducting field research across the length and breadth of India, Huyler has been a guest in innumerable Indian homes.  His mentors in India and abroad have always been women.  They have encouraged his efforts to accurately portray the character of Indian womanhood.  Huyler’s photographs have appeared in many exhibitions, including those he has curated at major museums internationally.  Daughters of India is his fifth published book.  He lives with his wife, Helene, in Camden, Maine.

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Bibliographic information

Title The House That Sonabai Built
Format Softcover
Date published: 31.12.2014
Edition 1st. ed.
Publisher Tulika Publishers
Language: English
isbn 9350466279, 9789350466278
length 32p., 22cm.