This is for my friends in Mumbai. If handicraft products interest you, head for Coomaraswamy Hall at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya tomorrow morning. You have a treat awaiting you. For this is the place where 35 acclaimed weavers and artisans from across the country will showcase their creativity under the banner of Rhymes and Rhythms of Life, an exhibition-cum-sale of their products. Organised by the Delhi-based Hast Karigar Society, the show that begins tomorrow will remain on till October 17, from 10.30 am to 7pm, daily.
And once you are there don’t forget to visit the stall of Kalamkari artist D. Lakshmamma from Andhra Pradesh, Odisha Pattachitra artist Akshaya Kumar Bariki and Rajasthan’s Bagh Print artisan Abdul Kadar Khatri. All the three are National Awardees. Lakshmamma’s work is remarkable for its clarity of line and stunning use of natural dyes, Bariki does excellent work of portraying Ramayana and Mahabharata on Pattachitra while Khatri has improvised an old technique of reusing the traditional blocks of 200 to 300 years old, which were patterns or designs of paintings in the 1,500 year old cave paintings in the Bagh region.
Hast Karigar Society (HKS) is a Delhi-based NGO founded by a group of artisans, designers, social activists, academics and environmentalists and works towards promoting Indian traditional skill and creations of the artisans and weavers while encouraging them to be contemporary and economically relevant.
With an aim towards reviving and redefining the skills traditional artisans and also to give them a market to sell their works, the HKS holds an exhibition every year wherein traditional artists, jewellery makers, handloom weavers, craftspeople and hand block printers from all over the country congregate expressing their skills weaved in motifs and symbols.
This is the eighth year in running for the HKS exhibition. The earlier shows have been held at Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Pune, Bhopal in India and at London, Tokyo, Switzerland, Los Angeles, Berlin, Sao Paulo, Paris, Taipe abroad.
At the Mumbai show, 35 artisans are showcasing their works. Among these 35 are five National awardees and eight state awardees. You will get to see all the traditional art and craft like Laheria, batik, shibori, kalamkari, tie and dye, lambani, kantha, rabari, ari, desert embroidery, chikan and applique work etc. You name a traditional Indian art or craft and it will be there.
You can chose from traditional jewellery, handloom products, hand block printed sarees, stoles and dupattas, hand-crafted Lambani jewellery, stone and silver jewellery from Rajasthan, leather bags and candles from Pondicherry, Dhokra work from Chhatisgarh, pottery and ceramics from Maharashtra, colourful durries from Uttar Pradesh and intricately woven mats from West Bengal besides a variety of other things like leather puppets, lamp shades and block printed stationery. Also available are Pattachitra, miniature art, and Madhubani paintings.