Silk, Gold and Silver from Benaras: The City of Light

PRA – KASHI: Silk, Gold & Silver from the City of Light National Museum, New Delhi 10thSeptember – 8th October 2019 “Pra – Kashi: Silk, Gold & Silver from the City of Light” is an exhibition of textiles showcasing the finest traditions of contemporary handwoven weaves done on traditional Indian drawlooms over the last 25…

Speaking of a minimalist artist’s heart

“At times I sit with my paper drawing a flower, a leaf or a delicate thorn for hours on end, lovingly, tenderly holding them close to myself, building upon them by using layers and layers of colour. As I enter into their subtlest zones I fall upon memories and imaginative reverie, experiencing my environs, times…

Their mosaic projects

Truly happy to hear that today India stands united with our Kashmiri brothers and sisters. Thankfully craft never had any such boundaries to fight over. One such example being Mosaic – starting in Mesopotamia in the 3rd millennium BC. Pebble mosaics were made in Tiryns in Mycenean Greece while the ones with patterns and pictures became widespread during classical times in Ancient…

Iconic Japanese folds made functional

To begin with, I read up on various Origami styles e.g. the Golden Venture Folding or the three dimensional one, Modular made into smaller units with cut pieces of paper, the Action model is interactable, Wet Folding is for a softer and delicate look, Kirigami involves both folding and cutting paper, while the one seen…

Throwback modernist jewellery

Jotting in my little black book for Ahmedabad next is – Kritha Makwana, for her abstract metal jewellery. It is quite unlike the ones we have featured earlier i.e. sculptural jewellery by Manifest Design and organically traditional by Dvibhumi. With hints from primitive bronze and iron age, it dawned on me how this ‘throwback modernist jewellery‘ would undoubtedly…

Appliqued Abrak for newer festive look

Carrying on with the Ahmedabad series is another under-the-radar label Usha Pasi. It too is doing applique but with a purely Indian take. The lady’s sublime taste is supported by her daughter Sukanya Pasi as she contributes to the clothing line being a fashion and accessory designer (check out the daughter’s traditional yet contemporary hair accessories which are…

Fashioning gender neutral clothes

Wajahat Rather is a beautiful young man. He reminds me of Oscar Wilde’s description of his character Dorian gray in the book ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray.’ And so do his edgy yet simple aesthetics which take reference from Kashmiri roots of arts and crafts for fashioning gender neutral clothing. I was lucky to have…

All for the love of handloomed waste

Don’t know what to term this unfortunate situation as …evolution or extermination? From Sunder Nagri to the neighbouring towns of Delhi, Ashita Singhal of Paiwand – a fresh fashion design graduate combed for weavers late last year and realized that the community was on the brink of extinction. Their derelict units brought tears to her eyes….

A realist, and dark artist’s tryst with embroidery

I avoid horror films or anything dark but this embroidery art drew my cynosure because of its brightly coloured beads and threadwork. Using colours and embellishment his artworks lighten heady realism of unrest and extremism today. Presently, working on his next exhibit is the artist – Theegulla Venkanna, at Kalhath Institute, Lucknow. Founded by Lucknow Design…

The Chamar Project

Wearing his OBC badge proudly is Sudheer Rajbhar, who as per Indian media is successfully breaking the glass ceiling in the snooty art and design world. Looking beyond his caste story  is equality of status through work. One is drawn to his skill and out-of-the-box business model as forces to reckon with. This brand of minimalist…