Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur is all set to present an exhibition curated by Mayank Mansingh Kaul which traces an evolution of aesthetics in Indian handmade textiles from the country’s independence in 1947 till now. Reflecting the fields of art, design, fashion and craft, the exhibition designed by Reha Sodhi will present paintings on cloth, tapestries, sculpture, carpets and rugs, saris, garments and other forms of creative expression in fabric. Together, these convey the expected and often unusual journeys in materials and techniques which have shaped the explorations of creative makers, master artisans, craftspeople, artists, designers as well as experimental, niche design studios and popular, well known brands.
The Indian subcontinent has, over the last seven decades, sustained processes of hand manufacture in textiles which is unparalleled in the world. Be it the diversity of skills and technologies, vocabularies of patterns and motifs, or the sheer large scale of production capacities, such processes have suggested constant innovation in inherited traditions. Unlike the common perception that such traditions are traditionally static and bound with strict rules of making and usage, they have been observed to be dynamically influenced by new stimulus - political, social, economic, scientific–and are inspired by emerging cultural developments.
Seen in the context of the predominant impulses of various periods in India’s post independence trajectories, the textiles are presented through broad themes: The National Movement, Khadi and the effects of the European-colonial encounter in the early to mid 20th Century; the engagement with International Modernism from the 1950s till today; an intense revival period in village-based crafts and textiles beginning with the 1970s which has informed the present ecology of urban design; the negotiation of roles between artisans-craftspeople, designers and artists; a return to historical vocabularies from the 1980s onwards which moulds contemporary fashion and mass consumerism; textiles as a means and metaphor for sculpture; and Indian minimalism.
The artists and designers whose works are being presented include Andrew Ananda Voogel Aneeth Arora, Amit Aggarwal, Anavila Misra, Ajit Das, Ashdeen Lilaowala, Asif Shaikh, Bashobi Tewari, Berenice Ellena, Bhikari Maharana, Chandrashekhar Bheda, Charu Wadhwa, Ghiora Aharoni, Gunjan Jain, Hashim Mohammad, Jadunath Supakar, Jigisha Patel, Manisha Parekh, Mahender Singh, Manisha Arora, Manuel Bougot, Monika Correa, Nelly Sethna, Paola Manfredi, Prabhakar Barve, Rahul Jain, Rahul Mishra, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Renuka Reddy, Rimzim Dadu, Riten Mazumdar, Ritu Kumar, Sanjay Garg, Shelly Jyoti, Sri Niranjan and Toofan Rafai.
The exhibition will open with a preview between 14/19 June and be on view daily from 20 June through 30 July between 11am and 7pm, with the exception of Mondays and Public Holidays.