This unique art of paper cutting originated in the Mathura, the hometown of Lord Krishna. Today it has spread from its home state of Uttar Pradesh to Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh.
Sanjhi comes from sanjh or dusk, the time at which this art was showcased. Folklore states that Radha made Sanjhi to beguile Krishna. According to history, this 500-year old art form began as temple decorations depicting the tales and adventures of Krishna. The art form began to depict more scenes from court and everyday life under the patronage of the Mughals.
Stencils are cut out of various materials to create a filigreed scene. These stencils are then used to sift dry colors into a flat surface. The rangolis that are created are as much the art as the original stencil itself. Now translated across various materials and surfaces Sanjhi art uses the interplay white and dark space to create elaborate lace-like scenes. Each art piece can be a miracle of intricacy, precision and symmetry with delicate forms and lines fitting together harmoniously.
Artist: Sunita Sharma Medium: Paper Size: 21.5" x 18" A striking indigo blue paper cut of a dancing peacock, this art piece has strong musical lines. The clean use of white space adds to the stunning quality of the piece.
Artist: Sunita Sharma Medium: Paper Size: 13" x 9" This unique and pretty piece features an almost architectural lattice window delicately cut out of a vintage stamp paper. The juxtaposition of the old stamp, the fading writing and the lacelike window make for an interesting artwork.
Artist: Sunita Sharma Medium: Paper Size: 23" x 18" The god of plenty, the god of auspicious beginnings, sits astride his vaahan, the mouse, in this eye-catching creation. The detailing of ornaments, the proud stance and the striking pink color all add to the charm of this art piece.
Artist: Sunita Sharma Medium: Paper Size: 21" x 18" With many complex elements, this portrait of a Moghul woman, interestingly uses the coloured and white space to give the subject elaborate layers. A fine pattern in the background places the subject in nature.
Artist: Sunita Sharma Medium: Paper Size: 13" x 9" This eclectic piece features the striking contrasts of a bedecked elephant and mahout, cut out of old stamp paper. A perfect conversation starter.