Printress of the Mughal Garden
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Brigitte Singh first came to Sanganer, Jaipur’s hand-block printing centre, as a student of miniatures three decades ago. Today, the visual almanac of her work gives us a truly alternate way to read medieval and modern civilizational encounters—through the evolution and transmission of motifs and craft techniques over centuries. Brigitte Singh’s exquisite work with block prints is a form of re-enacted design history, rendered in visual rather than textual terms. Uncovering and reaching down to the purer forms, to the composite aesthetic of the 18th century, it offers a singular source of access to a seminal epoch in design. This volume illustrates how Singh has approached her craft with an archaeological devotion, peeling off dusty layers from the long-obscured story of block printing in the subcontinent. Her work yields a truly Indian aesthetic, fully formed and yet open to influences, full of grand narratives but so dense with detail and meaning that in every telling, something new and essential is revealed both to the raconteur and the audience. This book has been enhanced with five augmented reality videos, each linked to a photograph marked with the u symbol. These videos—available on the Books Plus mobile app—document the block carving process; the printing workshop; Brigitte Singh narrating the story of Jaipur print; the stitching process; and Brigitte Singh speaking about her creative journey. To play the videos, please follow the instructions given on the copyright page in the book.