Select Pieces from Sutr Santati, or "the continuity of yarn"

An exhibition to celebrate 75 years of Indian Independence

  In the words of the organizers, the exhibition title is a "metaphor for ongoing dialogue in Indian culture and society which shape its evolution, bridging the past with the future".

This mind-blowing exhibition shows especially commissioned, stunning examples of textile art, showcasing India's rich textile tradition. 

 A pantheon of stars from India's textile design and artisanal ecosystem created the stunning pieces. Some highlights appear below.

Below are my images of the actual pieces. They don't do justice to the actual installations! 

 

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A wall panel entitled "Freeway"

Materials used: Organic linen, jute, cotton, raw silk, natural dyes

Technique: Hand embroidery using various needle techniques together with hand couching, knotting and fine zardosi (sophisticated embroidery using metallic thread). 

Created by several artisans 

Wall Art entitled "Moon Birds"

Materials used: Fine, 100 count handwoven cotton, Natural Dyes

Technique: Hand painting.

On a base of fine, handwoven 100 count cotton, the artist creates a contemporary chintz, one of the few such efforts today in reviving this stunning fabric. 

Created by: Well known textile revivalist, artist and designer Bappaditya Biswas, West Bengal. 


 

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A Wall Panel entitled "Free Spirit"

Materials used: Wild Tussar Silk dyed with tea using alum as a mordant

Technique: Hand embroidery using a simple running stitch, but in style known as "Nakshi Kantha". This technique can be traced back to the 9th and 10th centuries, A.D. 

The theme celebrates women who played a role in their own social and economic uplifting during India's struggle for independence. The panel depicts important roles played by women as they work towards their own empowerment: that of Mother, Educator, Leader and Engineer. 
 
Designed by Rinku Agarwal, a textile scholar
Created by several kantha artisans 

Wall Art entitled "Antarman" (or Inner Voice)

Materials used: Habutai Silk, Azo-free acid dyes, metallic thread

Technique: "Bandhani" or tie-dye, where tiny dots are tied and resist the dye creating an intricate pattern, and  "zardosi" or embroidery with metallic thread. 

In this piece, the artist explores the idea of the "inner voice", which was at the core of Mahatma Gandhi's spirituality and politics. 

Designed by textile artist Sukanya Garg
Created by master artisans Abudullah Khatri, Abduljabbar Khatri, Khatri Farzana Muhammad and Husain Kotdawala along with several assistants

 

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A Wall Panel entitled "Narratives Through Hands"

Materials used: Kala cotton, natural dyes. Kala cotton is an indigenous, entirely rain-fed and short-staple cotton grown in Gujarat. 

Technique: Applique, stylized hands made from a resist and mordant block-printed technique (ajrakh) on kala cotton. 

The theme celebrates artisans. Block-makers, printers, dyers and weavers came together to create these appliqued hands that symbolize strength and power, blessings and expression. 
 
Designed by Shehwar Mohibi
Created by ajrakh artisan Khalid Usman Khatri and kala cotton weaver Rajeshbhai Vankar

Sculptural Panel entitled "Charkha" or Spinning Wheel 

Materials used: Khadi (multiple counts)

Technique: Embroidery 

The spinning wheel is the most enduring symbol of India's freedom movement. It is conveyed both, as a symbol of India's past and her future. 

Designed by Jean-Francois Lesage, Yogambika Manoj and Gayathri Kannan
Created by several artisans, spinners and embroiderers

 

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A Wall Panel entitled "Fungi"

Materials used: cotton and silk. The base fabric used are scraps of a hand-loomed fabric known as khun, used to make blouses for sarees in the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka

Technique: Hand-weaving, hand-created textures 

The design is inspired by the designer's work researching nature and transferring its flow into a textile, which then is able to connect with humans. In this piece, the designer explores the circle of life of mushrooms. 
 
Designed by Vaishali S. 
Created by artisans from 2 states, Maharashtra and Karnataka

Wall Panel entitled Nayaka Kalamkari (literally, drawing with a pen)

Materials used: Khadi (multiple counts)

Technique: Embroidery 

The spinning wheel is the most enduring symbol of India's freedom movement. It is conveyed both, as a symbol of India's past and her future. 

Designed by Jean-Francois Lesage, Yogambika Manoj and Gayathri Kannan
Created by several artisans, spinners and embroiderers

 

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