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Marigold Diary

Not just for women

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Tempering is a uniquely Indian cooking technique. I wanted to create jewellery based on the magical act of pouring hot spiced oil into cooked food.-Baanley collection

Had stumbled upon Dvibhumi‘s instagram account a while ago, but one fine day I read on it a cryptic message ‘Utensils of early Indian settlers in Singapore-Ruchi launches this month’ which piqued my interest. To quench my curiosity I wrote and requested Vyshnavi N Doss, its founder and designer, for an e-catalog of her latest creations. The revert read “I design in Singapore and work with craftsmen in India and Indonesia to create modern jewellery with a strong Asian narrative. My signature aesthetic is clean lines and surfaces in combination with textures and motifs. You will notice how the designs go beyond statements and can easily spark a conversation. One should expect more matte finishes and monochrome than bling on geometrical forms with the spotlight on detail.”

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Warangal began with prayer rugs

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Getting festive ready I chanced upon Poludas Nagendra Satish’s Sutra Durrie. This led me to understand how earlier one could differentiate through designs of one village or weaver from the other. The cottage industry of durrie weaving in Warangal, Telengana can be recognized with its geometrical and angular designs in weft interlocking technique (both sides look the same). Here a large population consisted of skilled weavers and dyers. But the unofficial figures stated otherwise, that almost 50% of Padmasali community have left their ancestral vocation as the craft is too laborious, and provides little sustenance or dignity.

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Dining with KIKA while celebrating milestones

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Well, for me this 70th Independence day celebrations has been about analyzing India’s journey of rapid urbanization, growing awareness of western lifestyles, and higher disposable income. Ironically, certain aspects of global living came to fore, one such being cooking; as an increasing number of cosmopolitans are going back to soirees where exotic foods are paired up with fancy dinner and serveware as that has become a part of their conversations. So now, serving food tastefully  is no longer the prerogative of only the rich and famous of a bygone era.

Janaki Kirloskar in 2016, after working for 12 years in her century-old family business, decided to make the most of this crevasse. Having revelled in a beautiful home with luxuries, she had travelled, fine dined and entertained extensively ever since childhood. This industrial engineer who has an eye for patterns and designs decided on making the most of her of her background with KIKA Tableware – an acronym which brings together two most significant forces of her life – her daughters, Devaki and Mihika.  And with the onset of our festive season it seemed most appropriate for me to question her about her fairly new creative venture.

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The radical experimenter

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I had the opportunity to view Rooshad Shroff’s solo debut show – 15,556 Man Hours represented by Pundole Gallery earlier this year during the India Design Fair 2017 at Bikaner House, New Delhi. These were 26 pieces of furniture such as chairs, tables, benches, screens, daybed, and lighting in three distinct techniques – colour sanding, zardozi embroidery using french knots and monolithic marble hollowed and carved out. Being a big fan of handmade and crafts of India it was a sea change from other designed products, driving home his point of ‘authorship’.

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Its bold colours and graphic all the way

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Recently at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar, Textile India 2017 shed light on ‘Make in India’ initiative. So, without digressing much, I’d like to highlight ‘Made by an Indian’ who chooses to use these very same rich woven fabrics on foreign soil.

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Our ambiguous identities

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This year marks the 70th Independence day for both India and Pakistan, drawing attention to the biggest migration of all times in human history, where 12 million people crossed the borders from both sides and approximately 1 or 2 million lost their lives. So it seemed but natural for one to notice at the India Art Fair 2017 the work of a young artist Girjesh Kumar Singh,  showcased by Rukshaan Art Gallery, from Mumbai, which talks of evolving individualism. Continue reading “Our ambiguous identities”

An Indian collage artist at the upcoming Art Basel

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One surely needs a magnifying glass to admire such panoramic works which showcase the Indian milieu in every nano or micrometer of the paper collage. Struck by the minuscule reflexes depicting the movements of a throng in Sailesh Sanghvi’s artwork I connected with him, only to know better that his artwork ‘Eternal City-Haridwar’ has made it to the semi-finals of the Artbox.Project Basel 1.0 which chooses a handful of artists from different countries; and he is representing India. Excitedly he shared with me the news of it being showcased at the EuroAirport during the Art Basel fair; an exciting international art affair happening at Basel, Switzerland for a four-day art week from 14th-18th June’17, this year.

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The UnBenaras weaver

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My fascination grew when I read online about Hemang Agrawal’s textile journey after seeing his dazzling collection at Vayu, an upmarket concept store. Particularly how as a young lad from Baneras after studying at NIFT, Mumbai, thought it best to give up his scholarship for Masters in Fashion at Nottingham Trent University to go back home and make something of his textile roots(father had a saree business). Apparently this life altering decision was taken after listening to Padma Shri Rahul Jain‘s talk on Safavid, Persian and Mughal drawloom patterned textiles; wherein he explained in depth the sophistication and innovation of Benarasi textiles of the past several centuries. Later this foremost textile historian and revivalist of India became Hemangs guide and guru.

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Bringing to life the mundane in a village

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A young man striking a pose while enjoying music on the transistor by his buffalo, another one running after the birds in the fields, three young damsels making mayhem while sitting on a buffalo, buffaloes gloriously resting under a canopy glued to some blaring noise and many more colourful paintings recreate his rural imagery that gave me goosebumps; increasing my yearning to go back and relive a small town life.

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