An engineer by education, Dhavat Singh was exposed to Gond Art only when he married the daughter of renowned Gond artist Jangarh Singh Shyam.
The Gonds, are the largest Adivasi Community in India and are Dravidian’s whose origin can be traced to the pre-Aryan era. The Gonds traditionally painted on mud walls of their houses creating unprecedented depictions of their natural and mythological worlds, traditional songs and oral histories. Rich in detail, color, mystery and humor, these tribal artworks brilliantly employ modern means to evoke the pre-modern psyche. Jangarh Singh Shyam was the first Gond artist to use paper and canvas for his art. His talent was soon recognized, and his work was exhibited all over the country.
Dhavat Singh, trained under his father-in-law, translates folk tales onto his canvas, stretching the boundaries of traditional Gond art. Singh weaves traditional techniques, beliefs and imagery with modern materials and visual culture. Open to experiments and newer ideas, he plays with scale, palette and form, trying to put a visual form to the myths and folklore surrounding animals of the forest as told by the Baiga tribe (from Madhya Pradesh). Singh sees himself as more of a contemporary artist using traditional skills.