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Tuesday, Jan 28, 2003

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Craft for the connoisseur

Crafts from different parts of the country under one roof. That is what the CCI Heritage Craft Collection sale is all about. The show is on till January 31.

IT'S CELEBRATION time at the Central Cottage Industries Emporium — of rare, handcrafted treasures such as Dasavatara minutely carved on rice grains, the Shiva Purana sculpted on sandalwood — both National Award winners — and the stunning language of Orissa ikat translating white Mughal flowers onto a black silk sari!

The cross pollination of regional motifs and designs and the use of innovative design inputs to craft an exciting range of items are impressive.

The CCI's Heritage Exhibition of artefacts, textiles and lifestyle items is truly a connoisseur's delight.

A decade ago, would one have seen a superbly executed `Lady with a parrot' done in the Rajasthani art genre but dressed up in real pearls and gold foil a la a Tanjore `painting? Or a Radha Krishna Tanjore done in the North Indian style? An Orissa ikat with a `resham pallu' woven with Benarasi floral motifs or elaborate Rajasthani jharokas framing paintings of gods and goddesses? Each of these is a superb coming together of different regional craft dialects.

The Heritage Collection Exhibition has some superbly executed Rajasthani and Mughal style paintings as well as a range of Rajasthani traditional furniture items, with touches of antique brass work amid gaily painted `Kathputlis', Jaipuri `durwans' and lamp stands.

The Mysore woodcarvings are a visual delight. Painted in soft colours, with touches of pink, green and gold, the carved icons and panels combine the typical fluid charm of Mysore wood sculpting with innovative formats. Thus you have a boldly delineated Saraswati in shades of pink and green framed by brilliantly carved parrots or a superb Ganesha wall panel, again a melange of good workmanship and design.

Khurja pottery in contemporary shapes ranging from vases to dinner and tea sets, Agra marble inlay work, and Aligarh moulded brass icons are eye-catching. Also, on show are Swamimalai bronzes and outstanding examples of carved sandalwood figures from Karnataka.

The CCI's `Heritage Craft Collection' sale will be on till January 31 at its premises at `Temple Towers', 672 Anna Salai, Nanadanam.


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