The title of this work Nataraja is a term from Hindu mythology and refers to the God Shiva who is 'Lord of the Dance', and often depicted as a cosmic dancer with many arms.

Bridget Riley was inspired to create this work by a trip to India she took in 1981. The movements of the dance and the many arms are created in this piece by the use of vertical bands of colour that are cut across by diagonals. The use of contrasting colours and shapes to create the sense of movement in a flat work of art is typical of the Op Art movement which Bridget Riley was part of in the 1960’s.