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Updated: December 2, 2009 19:25 IST

The lure of the sari

MAKAM SRIDHAR
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Alka with one of her creations.
Alka with one of her creations.

Alka Raghuvanshi celebrates the romance of the unstitched cloth with her new show ‘Extending Metaphors’

Art has become part of lifestyle choice today. And that includes Alka Raghuvanshi, the multi-faceted achiever in the field of performing arts, painting and crafts. Talking to Dr. Alka Raghuvanshi makes one wonder about this young vivacious multifacet achiever in the field of performing arts, painting ,crafts, writing and aesthetics.

She has authored and edited over 20 books, participated in major art shows not only in India but also in various countries like Turkey, Italy, UAE, United Kingdom, Germany, France and the US. She is now back in business with a different show ‘Extending Metaphors', a solo show of fashion couture and paintings.

The show, which celebrates the romance of the unstitched cloth, meaning the sari, is the result of her chance discussion with designers Nidhi and Vaishali Jain. According to Alka, sari is an artistically crafted unstitched length of textile that is globally venerated and marked as a clear distinction of Indian women. It is truly a large canvas portraying narratives, myths, customs, themes and motifs and reflects the taste of people and specialities of the regions. While Nidhi and Vaishali Jain have together integrated the art, the craft, and use of design in vibrant colours and form. For the true reflection of visual sensitivity in her paintings digital transfers were made so that that nuances of the paintings could come alive.

The choice of fabrics was done after painstaking research to ensure the textured look of the paintings. The fabrics used include silk, fine matka and tussar from Bhagalpur and heavy chiffons. The saris have been embellished with brocades, kimkhawb, embroidery swatches, jute brocades and silver edgings to truly make them couture saris.

Illustrious models

To give a whole new dimension to these art saris, such of those models have been chosen carefully who have ‘kept the flag of sari flying high and have continued to sport sari in virtually every situation.

“A few friends have come forward with their support, including artist Anjolie Ela Menon, activist Jaya Jaitley, actress Sushma Seth, dancers Sharon Lowen, Pratibha Prahlad, Shovana Narayan, Radha and Kaushalya Reddy, Rashmi Vaidyalingam and the German Indophile Ulla Matussek, all women of substance”, says Alka, concluding, “it has been a satisfying emotional experience” as she views her rendezvous as a divine expression where she is only a medium.

The show is open this Thursday at The Claridges Hotel from, 7.30 p.m. onwards.

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