You've heard of rags to riches stories and you've heard of rags to riches stories. Here's the ultimate.
Daira - Centre for Art and Culture is organising an exhibition of drawings and mixed media paintings by Toofan Rafai from 18th to 31st January. A collection of 34 of Rafai's recent works are on display. All the paintings have been done with natural dyes.
Toofan Rafai is an 82-year-old senior artist who was born in a community of beggars. His life, then, is a typical rags to riches story. After begging on the roadside for 19 years, Rafai managed to find a job in a factory in Ahmedabad. One day, accidentally, his hand slipped into the machine, and most of his fingers on the right hand got chopped off.
As he was admitted in a hospital and crying over his fate, one of his ward nurses got him a paper and some paints, and convinced him to paint a picture. Inspite of his handicap, he painted an astonishingly stunning picture.
Realising his hidden talent, the nurse secured him admission to a diploma course in drawing & painting at Sir J J School of Art, Mumbai, and since then there has been no looking back. He went on to complete his P G in Mural Decoration under the Government of India Scholarship Program, at Mumbai. He then began research into his chosen subject – natural dyes.
He has conducted workshops on the subject in all corners of India and abroad - in Russia, and in many parts of USA. He has also held solo exhibitions of paper collages, wall-hangings and paintings in all major art centres of India, and in the US. He regularly presents study papers on natural dyes in important fora.
He is the recipient of the highest award in folk art presented by the Government of Gujarat – the Mahanubhava Award. He has also been conferred upon the Lalit Kala Academy Award for paper collage and the Mumbai Art Society Award, among others.
Please contact 6661-8628/98499-87187 for further details.