A video of an artist from Pingla, West Bengal, is inspiring many on the internet for her recognizable role in a creative expression of the COVID-19 pandemic. Shared by a rural heritage conservation group, HIPAMS, India on its official Facebook page, the video features a Patachitra artist who exhibits traditional paintings that illustrates the stay-at-home health safety protocol. In the caption, the group mentions that the lady, Swarna Chitrakar is a changemaker and a community leader who also composed a melodious song related to COVID-19 in the Bengali language.
In the video, that accumulated over a near thousand likes and 1.6k shares, the woman portrays several illustrations related to coronavirus that she painted on the canvas, while she sings a song pointing to each. The paintings, conceptualized on the global pandemic theme instantiate the use of the protective masks, social distancing measures, depicts the healthcare workers who are battling the virus in the frontline, and several such aspects of life’s “new normal” amid the health crisis. The artform illustrates the perils and the aftermath of the disease outbreak.
Through the display of her art, the Patachitra artist Swarna proves that the pandemic has crippled the artistic boundaries as the virtual and physical spaces for the artistic expression disintegrates. The social media has now become a platform where artists virtually express in trying times confined at homes.
“Life's trials and tribulations as well as Joy, awaken the artist in all of us, “wrote a user. “Thanks for sharing such a beautiful n creative art,” wrote another. “Very well sung and nicely sung and depicted,” wrote the third, appreciating the art. Patachitra is the art form popular in Odisha and West Bengal which involves the cloth-based painting of the mythological narratives and folktales which serves a visual representation while performing a song. It is an ancient form of artistic expression that uses "narrative art" in the form of paintings. This art concept is based on incidents and usually does not involve landscapes.