EACH PIECE that comes out of his loom is as transparent as a song. The painter-weaver R. P. Rajen trained at the Gurukul Kangadi, Hardwar and had a burning desire to earn his livelihood by working with his hands. A graduate in painting and mural decoration from the Sir J. J. School of Art, Mumbai, Rajen learnt weaving at the Weavers' Service Centre and Indian Institute of Handloom Technology at Varanasi. Working in the Hill Wool Scheme of the U.P. Government, Rajen got seriously involved in the profession of weaving.
He has also studied at the R.C.A. London, I.I.A Helsinki and the Konstfack Skolan Stockholm. Rajen established his own studio, Weavelab at Ahmedabad and began to weave a range of materials from dhurries to mashru to lino-weave hangings as well as yardage materials. He has also taught at The National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and is a faculty member at the School of Architecture. He works exclusively on furnishing fabrics.
Traditional weaving on the looms has always been considered a worker's job.
But Rajen with his masterly craftsmanship and vibrant creativity has elevated this traditional craft to a movement in art and brought it into homes in various forms. Initially starting to weave the ancient miniatures, he created the beautiful hanging of `Gopashtami', based on the Nathdwara pichhwai or `Tree Of Life' based on the Kalamkari traditions. Most of his works are done in the shades of greys and browns and have intricate geometrical patterns. These give a new dimension to Rajen's creations. A new sense of perception is added when he uses dyes over the woven pattern.
Today he is busy merging his previously acquired art of painting and his already flourishing craft of weaving.
Splashing the dyes all over the silk, he paints vivid, abstract images, which instantaneously have a dramatic impact. Unlike other fibre artists, Rajen makes his own dyes.
He paints and weaves without getting into the complexities of distortion.
`also', the store at the White House Building, Begumpet is hosting an exhibition and sale of Rajen's paintings, tapestries in wool, cotton and silk based on the kalamkari and miniature styles for a week starting today.
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