Madhvi Parekh was born and raised in a village in Gujarat. With no formal education in art, her art evolved from childhood memories, popular folk stories and legends of her village. Art formed a part of her consciousness through the forms of painting that were part of her family’s everyday rituals, such as the traditional floor designs of rangoli. Inspired by her artist-husband Manu Parekh and artists such as Paul Klee and Miro, Madhvi began painting in 1964. Her paintings are unplanned, unfolding like a story where she adapts each work to the scale it demands, developing from a point into vast narratives.
Apart from folk motifs, legends and figures, Parekh also uses imaginary characters in figurative and abstracted orientations in her compositions – a similar engagement seen in her printmaking as her painting, and revealing the use of rhythm and repetition. In most of her works, she utilizes the settings of Kalamkari and Pichwai where she enshrines the main character of the composition in the centre and fills the minor or secondary ones in the borders.