Purnaa Deb Drawing Technique

‘A Tale of Quests’ is the first solo exhibition by Indian-born, Johannesburg based artist Purnaa Deb hosted at David Krut Bookstore Gallery. The exhibition features a body of mixed media artworks by the artist who shares her personal narratives about womanhood, tradition and relocating from India to South Africa. Purnaa demonstrated her traditional drawing technique in a live drawing session at the opening of her exhibition. Watch this short clip from the demonstration below.


The drawing technique references Purnaa’s Bengali traditional activity performed around the household called ‘alpona’ – an ancient ritual of art and painting mostly used for beautiful floor decorations. She fondly recalls her mother and grandmother teaching her how to paint these symbols in her childhood. It is evident that these techniques have become so natural to Purnaa. One can recognise the effortless manner in which she creates these images as she swiftly and confidently weaves her brush along the surface.  Not only are the resultant designs beautiful and decorative, but they also hold significance in symbolic terms for pan-Indian religion. Purnaa practices this technique in the hope that the tradition won’t be forgotten in our contemporary lifestyle.

Join us for a live drawing session and artist conversation on Friday 25 May 1 – 2 pm.