Durgabai Vyam is one of the foremost female artists working in the Pardhan-Gond tradition of tribal art. Although she lives and works in Bhopal, most of Durgabai’s work is rooted in the rich folklore and mythologies of her birthplace, Burbaspur, a village in the Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh. Her art is inspired by the stories she heard as a child from her grandmother. Post her marriage to Subhash Vyam, she was encouraged by her brother-in-law, Jangarh Singh Shyam, who noticed her talent as a painter of digna (ritual paintings made by the women on the floors and walls of houses). He spurred her to not only translate her talents on to paper and canvas but also to experiment with her aesthetics in keeping with a contemporary urban art market. Even while using the pointillist dots, fine dashes and minute waves that characterise Pardhan-Gond painting, Durgabai’s use of vibrant colours for the stippling is part of her unique voice, and is matched by the fable-like quality of her paintings. They present a range of goddesses, rivers, trees, a variety of animals from tigers and deer to peacocks and garden lizards, and occasionally male gods – all rendered in her original and very contemporary style. Durgabai is also the author and illustrator of several books.