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Tuesday, Aug 05, 2003

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Array of artefacts

Knick-knacks, curios, tableware, linen or garments... there is much to choose from at the exhibition presented by the Hindustan Hastkala Gramodhyog Sansthan Samiti at the Sankara Hall in the city. On till August 10.

FOR THOSE who fancy North Indian arts and crafts, here is an exhibition that might help you take home a few expertly crafted artefacts. On till August 10, the exhibition brings together the work of 15 artisans from North India, especially from Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Kashmir.

On show are traditional Rajasthani style paintings done on silk or cotton and painted using vegetable dyes. The paintings depict scenes from Hindu mythology and the Mughal era. "It takes us from an hour to four days to complete a painting depending on the design and work involved," says an artist. The cost of the paintings is between Rs.35 and Rs.4,500 depending on the size and the intricacy of work. Some have been executed using 22 carat gold instead of vegetable colours.

There is also a collection of Rajasthani jewellery in silver and semi- precious stones. Ganesha icons (prices range between Rs.200 and Rs.400) in sandstone, garnet, jade and turquoise make interesting showpieces.

The Moradabad brassware and the Hyderabad black metalware, consisting of puja items, icons, wall pieces and decorative items (priced from Rs. 35 upwards) will interest those who like a metal touch to interiors.

Jaipur paintings on marble, embossed with semi-precious stones (priced Rs. 200 upwards) and paintings on gemstones are worthwhile acquisitions. For the artistically inclined, the stall also has handmade paper note pads, embellished with traditional gemstone painting (Rs. 125), telephone books with gemstone painting (Rs. 200) and traditional jewel boxes.

If your eyes are tired of Rajasthani styles, then you can opt for the Haryana Handloom bedspreads, razais (Rs. 450), and sofa and cushion covers in knitted materials. There are also attractive jute bags and wall hangings that you could pick up at affordable prices.

Hand-embroidered Kashmiri kurtis, shawls and salwar suits, ranging from Rs. 200 upwards, and intricately carved walnut wood pieces, papier-mache jewel boxes, little bowls made of yak's horns complete the Kashmiri stall.

Decorative clay and terracotta artefacts from Gorakhpur and leheriya and shiviri (a form of hand-painting of cloth) salwar suits (priced Rs. 400 upwards) are especially eye-catching.

Adding to the collection is the porcelain ware from Khurja in Uttar Pradesh. The hand-painted tea cups in various shapes and colours are priced from Rs.20 upwards. This collection also has plates, tea sets that are reasonably priced. To add a local flavour, there is a small stall with South Indian cotton sarees too.

Organised by the Hindustan Hastkala Gramodhyog Sansthan Samiti, the exhibition is on till August 10 at the Sankara Hall, TTK Road, Alwarpet.


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