Fine Arts students of Stella Maris College displayed their creations at Kadhambam ’14, their annual textile show

A jamakkalam from Bhavani is tailored into a chic backpack. A gopuram of Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple is printed on a silk cushion cover. The kurinji landscape of Tamil Nadu ebbs and flows on a wrap-around skirt… These are the works of students from The Department of Fine Arts, Stella Maris College. Eleven of them came together to showcase their creations at Kadhambam ’14, the annual textile show by postgraduate students of the college. The exhibition was held recently at Vinnyasa Premier Art Galery.

A native of Madurai, temples have always fascinated R. Kanmani. ‘Prakriti’, her collection of silk cushion covers, reflects this. On the covers, she has digitally printed photographs of motifs, pillars, and panels she shot in the temples of Madurai, Tiruchi and Thanjavur. Kathleen Peiries has created cushions inspired from flora in and around Chennai. Called ‘Pushpa’, her collection features flowers such as bougainvillea and hibiscus.

Flowers are Susan Paul’s inspiration too. Her ‘Thamara’ collection consists of dupattas and stoles with lotuses embroidered on delicate Maheshwari fabric. S. Deepika’s ‘Aaradhya’ collection of khadi pants in panchakacham style has designs from temple architecture.

“I love Tamil. I wanted to design a line that depicts my love for the language,” says N. Nandhini pointing to her ‘Aivarnam’ collection. She has portrayed kurinji, mullai, marutham, neidythal and paalai, the Sangam landscapes of Tamil Nadu in stoles and wrap-around skirts using tie-and-dye technique. Kurinji or mountains, for instance, are depicted in browns and greys, while neidhal or the coastal landscape consists of blues and its shades.

Fariha Begum wants to do something to help the jamakkalam weavers of Bhavani. She has used the thick, bright-coloured, striped fabric to tailor backpacks, handbags, laptop bags, and purses. “Powerlooms have taken over handlooms. The weavers have moved to making towels and lungis. I want to change that,” she says.

The game of dice gets a twist in ‘Pachisi’, Neha Murthy’s collection of handmade board games. Her ‘Haveli’ set of games has kings and queens embroidered on game boards, while her ‘Chalti Gaadi’ set has pieces inspired from Indian roadways — game boards have highway signs such as ‘peep peep don’t sleep’ ‘no hurry, no worry’ embellished on them; tiny milestones act as coins!

Emotions take centre stage in Anna Abraham’s line of hand-painted stoles and clutches. Each piece of ‘Imbue’ reflects her emotions. “When I’m happy, I chose to do pieces in bright colours such as pink and red. The greens and blues were done when I was gloomy,” she explains.

Who would’ve thought that circuit boards could make for interesting motifs on silk saris? Nayna Khicha has block-printed them on tussars as part of her ‘Techno’ line of saris. Intricate flowers, leaves, vines hand-embroidered on fabric and inset in wooded trays — this is what Nimisha Zachariah’s ‘Ira’ collection is all about.