Search

Marigold Diary

Category

admire

‘Baluchars- The Woven Narrative Silks of Bengal’

What happens when you miss one of the most-sought after textile exhibitions? You order a richly illustrated book titled – ‘Baluchars- The Woven Narrative Silks of Bengal’ edited by Jasleen Dhamija and published by Niyogi Books.

Actually, early this year Darshan Shah of  Weaver’s Studio Resource Centre had put together a Baluchar retrospective at the National Museum, New Delhi. It had taken nearly 10 years for her to showcase for the first time under one roof covetable personal and museum collections from V&A in London, Indian Musuem- Kolkata, TAPI collection in Surat-Gujrat, CSMCV- Mumbai, Musee Guimet – Paris, and Delhi’s very own National Museum and Crafts Museum.

In regard to that and the release of this book I met Jasleen, the ex-President of Jury for UNESCO’s Award for Creativity in Textiles and Chairperson of the Handloom Development Working Group of the Planning Commission (12th Plan)  of Indian Textiles and Handicrafts. I felt like a little child eagerly listening to her elusive tales of the Baluchars, and their exoticism.

Bengal’s woven narrative silks

Recounting their story she began, “Textiles have always been a big part of our lives. The Baluchars too elucidate the history of the 18th and 19th century Bengal, in terms of their life-style, and influences of various cultures which came to India in search of textiles. These woven narrative silks point out and evoke an interest in us. Some believe that it was the foreigners who bought these as souvenirs while few think these were gifted to the highly sophisticated courtesans as favours, as those women always wanted to be a part of the aristocracy.”

Picture 129

Excerpt Changing tastes of India’s elite and the impact of imported cloths threatened to destroy the skill needed to weave complex cloths of this sorts. A few commissions came from the enlightened British officials. The European content of the design reflected this new patronage. A European mounted on an elephant is reading a letter or report – symbols of traditional modern authority amusingly positioned, side by side. Here the European was the patron and the agent and these subtly woven pictorial motifs were intentional.

Continue reading “‘Baluchars- The Woven Narrative Silks of Bengal’”

Bijou for everyday wear

Had actually spotted Dorothee Sausset and  her eponymous delicate jewellery label at the annual French Charity Fete at the French School in New Delhi, late last year. But waited till spring to flaunt her little blings on my pinched collar, fingers and wrists.

The designer and a Kundalini yoga practitioner intents on linking our mind, body and soul to her classic bejewelled pieces. Highlighting her beliefs through it, she brilliantly presents a little book carrying basic information on the Mudras and their meditations.

Inclined towards alternative therapies, my ears perked up when she began talking about her line – 5 Elements. For, the five different stones chosen by her, seemed like a conscious choice to connect with our lower chakras and elements of Ayurveda- ether, air, fire, water and earth.

Mudras pendants charms

Continue reading “Bijou for everyday wear”

Giving ‘mukti’ to scrap

The current solo show at the Gallery Art Positive reminds me Irwin Allen Ginsberg – an American poet, philosopher and writer’s quote “Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness” When the world is going mad experimenting with newer mediums in art, design and fashion, a parallel event for the India Art Fair 2019 is displaying Mumbai based artist Haribaabu Naatesan’s Equilibrium – The Irreversible till 5th March 2019.

It is a must-see, as the scrap artist exhaustively engages with the concept of ‘Mukti’ – ultimate liberation from the cycles of life. Through an artwork or design he hopes to end the cycle of the scrap used in his work and wishes it never goes through another ‘re-birth’.

He feels his art is very simple as it easily creates nostalgia of a bygone era and whimsical notes of childhood memories which evoke profundity transcending age, craft, and walks of life. Reminiscing he narrates about a four year old getting excited over the toy guns and cars he noticed in the artwork, when displayed at the Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai. And the carpenter who was both fascinated and bewildered at the same time, while framing his work.

Haribaabu_Naatesan_Comfortably_Numb00 (1)

Comfortably Numb

Continue reading “Giving ‘mukti’ to scrap”

Romanticising maximalism of Indian design

His mentor, Tony Duqutte was an American design legend who created elegant interiors, high jewelry, costumes and sets for Hollywood and Broadway productions, European royalty and the well-heeled. Following suit, Hutton Wilkinson – the grandson of the late Bolivian president Don José Luis Tejada-Sorzano unarguably stepped into the goliath’s shoes.

As a child with a quirky sense of humour his style heroes were Tony Duquette, Cecil Beaton, Oliver Messel, The Baron de Rede, Arturo Lopez Wilshaw, Emelio Terry and Carlos de Beistegui . In 1995, when Wilkinson and his compatriot, Tony Duqutte came up with their first jewelry line for Bergdorf Goodman, Vogue wrote – “After a maximum of minimalism, all of fashion is turning towards Tony Duquette for inspiration,” (cited in Vogue Arabia)

Capture0196-Edit

On reading several interviews given by Wilkinson the design enthusiast in me excitedly connected through email with the owner and creative director of Tony Duquette only to discover his “love for maximalism in Indian design”.

Continue reading “Romanticising maximalism of Indian design”

The sublime P A P I E R

After a long haitus, I’m back talking about a brilliant show currently being exhibited – PAPIER at Gallery Art Positive featuring nine outstanding artists from the Indian Subcontinent. Aisha A Hussain, Chetnaa, Ganesh Selvaraj, Gopika Chowfla, Jignesh Panchal, Sachin Tekade, Sachin George Sebastian, Sudipta Das and Shormii Chowdhury magically exalt one’s mind with just paper.

Invented by the Chinese in the 4th century this became a popular medium for crafts during celebrations in different cultures e.g. papel picado banners in Mexico, kirigami in Japan, papercut silhouettes in England during the Middle Ages and how can we forget the kite or lantern flying in Asia and South America. Infact, till just a decade or two ago there were many who’d indulge in hobbies such as scrapbooking, cardmaking, paper flowers, decoupage, paper mache, quilling, paper making, bookbinding, and paper layering. So as an offset to technology (seen even in art) I decided to interact with Sachin Tekade, a Pune based paper artist who chooses only pristine white paper to depict architectural and natural forms.

1 Untitled 18x18 inches 2018

Continue reading “The sublime P A P I E R”

Artist feels oppressed by the pin which keeps her safety intact

The Safety Pin_03 (1)

“We were sensitized in NID before going out to do projects with the craft clusters. As a student one had to stay in their environment to understand their rudimentary means. It was basically about learning their skillset while humbly playing the role of an intermediary, not god or master” quips the Hyderabad based artist – Shaila Nambiar. Having done Fine Arts from MSU Baroda in 1996, she later also got a degree in Textile Designing from NID, in 2003.

The Bobby Pin_02

Continue reading “Artist feels oppressed by the pin which keeps her safety intact”

I fancy age-old Ayurvedic Skincare concoctions in a bottle!

 IMG_1491 (1)Vata Supplements

Today I’m sharing two stories which are sides of the same coin – one of Abida Halstenberg from Berkeley Square, London who is the founder of Samaya which has creams, cleansers, oils and supplements for the skin and hair.

She grew up in Hyderabad, south of India, but her folks belonged to the North, in Uttar Pradesh. She remembers her maternal grandmother from Oudh only prescribing natural or Ayurvedic remedies for any ailment or beauty treatment. From the age of six or seven she found herself inclined towards mixing face packs with Ayurvedic ingredients. After moving abroad life got busier so she looked for off-the-shelf products that were not just natural or Ayurvedic but also easy and pleasant to use. Uninterested with those in the market, she began building her own line based on the knowledge imparted by her grandmother and extended family (whom she had grown up with), while studying the rest.

Continue reading “I fancy age-old Ayurvedic Skincare concoctions in a bottle!”

The Art of Textiles

IMG-20171028-WA0006IMG-20171028-WA0010IMG-20171028-WA0011

I remember visiting quite a while ago a small store in New Delhi’s tony Khan Market, on the first floor. Along with its amazing line of home furnishings which revived old school Indian needlework with global inspirations (i.e. French, Moroccan, Portuguese) were the wooden plank shelves which caught my fancy. On inquiring one came to know of the painstaking efforts taken to procure tracks from Indian Railway auctions for their wood which is ideal for furniture, weathered well and very sturdy.

Continue reading “The Art of Textiles”

Jamdani – a sublime weave does justice to slow fashion

She remembers sketching gowns from class 7th onwards after secretly gaping at the international fashion magazines for hours on end. Had fancied a German – Karl Largarfeld ever since, for successfully creating three distinct labels simultaneously – French fashion house Chanel, an Italian one Fendi, along with his own fashion label.

1

Continue reading “Jamdani – a sublime weave does justice to slow fashion”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: