To resuscitate the country’s rich textile heritage and present hand embroidery in a contemporary way, the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts is currently hosting a unique exhibition at its premises here.
“Resurgence” seeks to promote traditional textile crafts and educate the uninitiated about a range of embroidery styles. A lot of meticulous planning went into this exhibition which concludes Sunday.
Curator Asif Shaikh said: “From the IGNCA’s rich archives, I was given the liberty of using four embroideries, including phulkari, kantha and rabari, to produce a range of products for the collection. With the help of artisans from across the country, I have produced different kinds of weaves, textiles and prints.”
Mr. Shaikh said the exhibition intends to revive miniature embroidery and present it in a modern way. He said embroidery is looked at as old and dishevelled.
“We want to change this incorrect perception among people. In the 20th century, a range of embroidery styles were presented at exhibitions across the country. So why should we not give it a fillip in the 21st century?”
Mr. Shaikh, working for two decades to strengthen our country’s textile heritage, is exasperated with some designers for indulging in plagiarism and using technology to produce garments with different embroidery styles.
“What people do not realise is that these designers, who do not have knowledge about the background of different embroidery techniques, are destroying the livelihood of artisans. All they are interested in is earning a quick buck. Machine embroidery cannot replace the skills of indigenous artisans. These designers have no interest is preserving our rich embroidery styles for the future generation.”
According to IGNCA member secretary Dipali Khanna, textiles, embroideries and weaves are the fabric of Indian culture. “These weaves, patterns, motifs, textures and colours are the dreams, aspirations and hopes of those who weave them.”