Born in 1967, Niranjan Jonnalagadda well known for his dexterity is successfully continuing the family tradition of his illustrious forefathers. Shilpa-Guru J Gurappa Chetty, his father the only person practicing the art form at that time, was responsible for training artists and reviving the Kalamkari craft. Today there are over two hundred artists Niranjan topping the list keeping the tradition alive. An acclaimed artist he creates contemporary designs following the traditional process. Kalamkari as the name suggests is the art of painting with a kalam or pen on specially treated cloth. Kalamkari artists from Srikalahasti in Andhra Pradesh, work mostly on narrative themes and mythological stories. Their cloth paintings were used as temple hangings. They are done with natural dyes, using a lengthy process involving more than a dozen steps which include bleaching of the fabric, soaking it in animal dung solutions, using wax resist dyeing methods, and dyes made from indigo, madder, as well as various other seeds and flowers. Niranjan lives in Kalahasti and works from his humble space in the vicinity of the temple town.
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