Vijayawada

5 Masula, Pedana textile art works set to go places

Royal Ontario Museum Curator Sarah Fee displays an old photograph of Mehrab design printed on fabric in Kalamkari art during visit to Pedana in Krishna district.

Royal Ontario Museum Curator Sarah Fee displays an old photograph of Mehrab design printed on fabric in Kalamkari art during visit to Pedana in Krishna district.  

They are among 200 selected from India: Canadian museum curator

Canada’s Royal Ontario Museum has selected as many as 200 classical Indian textile art works, including 20 masterpieces found in Egypt and dating back to the 10th and 14th centuries, for display in Europe, the U.S. and China from mid-2019.

Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) Curator Sarah Fee on Wednesday got a few historical clues during her field visit in Pedana to confirm that at least five works among the 200 masterpieces were done by Machilipatnam and Pedana Kalamkari artisans in the 20th century.

The five works – wall hangings with Mehrab design and other floral motifs – are now on display at the ROM. However, no credible evidence was available to attribute the artistic credit for printing the respective five Kalamkari designs. “We have all the evidence to prove that the selected 200 textile artworks were made in India. The idea of exhibiting the works is to showcase the illustrious textile history of India. The art historians and other historians are expected to celebrate the works,” Ms. Sarah told The Hindu. The 200 works have been collected by the ROM from different sources.

Egyptian connection

“Fragments of as many as 20 Kalamkari art works have been found in excavations near the Berenice, a sea port in Egypt. A scientific study on those 20 works has established that they were manufactured between the the 10th and 14th centuries in India. Many other works were done in other parts of India, including Machilipatnam and Gujrat,” added Ms. Sarah. The selected works would be kept in display for four months in the location. All the works were done by wooden block and by hand by the artisans. “The classical Indian textile artworks are enabling the art historians to understand the Industrial Revolution in Europe, global craze for the Indian textile works and origin of Chintz, textile products with floral and wildlife motifs,” said Ms. Sarah.

Ms. Sarah selected two colours of ‘Tree of Life’ for display in the ROM. It was created by Pedana-based artists led by Pitchuka Srinivas with 212 wooden blocks.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 10:06:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/5-masula-pedana-textile-art-works-set-to-go-places/article23437531.ece

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