Friday, September 09, 2011

Beyond Peacock and paisleys

The Goldstein Museum in St. Paul is hosting an exhibition of textiles from India and its neighboring countries, 'Beyond Peacocks and Paisleys'. If you are interested in textiles and design, this would prove to be worthwhile visit. 
Also if you like Indian culture and admire locally available Indian art you'd be surprised to see that what Target and other big box stores sell is not the real craft from India or should I say a very diluted version of the art that Indian Artisans are capable of offering. 
At the museum there is a handbook with detailed pictures and description of the art form/textile which is very informative. One of the curators of the exhibition is a textile artist and an online friend who I have yet to meet in person but think they did an awesome job of presenting the textile art. 

This particular piece is from my husband's city 'Lucknow' and is called Chikankari. I own a few saris and  other dresses with this work and are specially suited to hot summer months as the work is done on light weight fabric, cotton or otherwise and imparts an airy feel despite the heavy embroidery. 

This next piece is called bandhage and is a very refined version of what we popularly know as 'tie and dye'. This art technique is from western states of India, Rajasthan and Gujarat. I own a couple pieces of this fabric too and its an absolute joy to wear them when you know where and who produced the dress for you and that it was definitely not in a sweat shop.
I know a little bit about all the pieces that are pictured below but I'll refrain from explaining them because I am not a textile expert and all my knowledge comes from either owning the pieces or staying in the regions where this art was produced.
Enjoy the online version of my perspective of the exhibition and if you are local and are enticed enough to follow up, please go visit it, its on till the 25th September.

Since I have a track record of overbooking my schedules, I'll miss the talk but if you are interested in this topic, it is open to public.

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