TAMIL NADU

Puppets, artefacts … a confluence of crafts

Union Minister of Textiles Dayanidhi Maran views a live demonstration by an artisan at the Gandhi Shilp Bazaar in Valluvar Kottam on Monday. —

Union Minister of Textiles Dayanidhi Maran views a live demonstration by an artisan at the Gandhi Shilp Bazaar in Valluvar Kottam on Monday. —   | Photo Credit: Photo: S. Thanthoni

Staff Reporter

Nearly 150 artisans participate

CHENNAI: It was a confluence of signature craftsmanship from across the country at the ‘Gandhi Shilp Bazaar’, a handicrafts exhibition that opened at Valluvar Kottam here on Monday. Union Minister of Textiles Dayanidhi Maran inaugurated the 10-day exhibition.

From Rajasthani puppets and wooden artefacts, dry flowers from Nagaland to leather puppets from Andhra Pradesh and papier mache articles, Thanjavur paintings from Tamil Nadu, the exhibition showcases some of the exquisite art forms of the country. Nearly 150 crafts persons, including national awardees, are participating in the exhibition.

People looking for striking artefacts to decorate their homes could pick from a wide variety of choices such as wrought iron artefacts from Chattisgarh, colourful appliqué lampshades from Orissa, shell carvings from Andaman and Nicobar Islands and aloe vera fibre articles from Tirunelveli. Shyamananda Jha, an artisan from Jharkhand, who was giving finishing touches to a Madhubani painting, said the art form depicted scenes from epics and had traditional motifs using natural colours. “It takes about a month to paint a saree. I have also used ‘kajal’ to paint a wall hanging,” he said.

The exhibition also has a large collection of handlooms from many States, including chanderi silk from Madhya Pradesh, Lucknowi chikan work and Punjabi phulkari embroidery. There are the live demonstrations of how Thanjavur art plates and papier mache figurines are made.

Mr. Maran also distributed artisans the credit cards that make them eligible to get loans at less interest rate. He said the Centre was taking several measures for the betterment of the artisans. About 14,000 crafts persons across the country have benefitted so far under the Rajiv Gandhi Shilpi Swasthya Bima Yojana, which is a health insurance scheme for them and their families.

He said the Ministry would organise such exhibitions in important cities every week to encourage direct market linkage between the artisans and handicraft lovers. About 1,500 artisan families in and around Chennai benefitted from a health camp organised as part of the exhibition on Monday. The exhibition will be open between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. till February 3.

Recommended for you