While Anuradha’s tryst with the tribal people is a long story going back to her childhood days spent in Maharashtra, it took an interactive workshop with the Gond tribes in Gadchiroli to make her realise what she really wanted her art to be. The closer she moved with them, the more she fell in love with the tribals – their customs and their way of life. She watched them at work, soaked in their ceremonies, their dance, their music.
From her experiences in their land, she shaped her craft. Her signature style of using black and white complemented by earthen colours are a revelation to those who think black is difficult to work with. The fact that she uses black almost with a magical quality can make anyone wonder how it could be done, for the way Thakur uses black, she renders a lightness and grace to the entire canvas, be it the dancers’ footwork, the costumes, the hairdo, the mood and the overall theme.
Her works are translations of real life encounters with her favourite muses, the tribals of India. Her works are about their culture, their joys, their way of life, their dignity. Her works capture the true spirit, pulse and rhythm of tribal communities from across the country in as much glamour and as much simplicity at the same time. That in a nutshell is Anuradha Thakur and her work.
A widely recognised and awarded artist, her canvases bring us closer to the tribal people, make us feel one with them. A rendezvous with her work can transport one to a different timeline, to a land and its people across the seas. Her works allow us a glimpse of the ceremonies of the tribal people – their weddings, rituals, practises and their ways of socialising,transferred lovingly and most gracefully to canvas.