Unfolding Contemporary Indian Textiles
Unfolding' is a timely and vital examination of how the rich and diverse textile craft traditions of India have been adopted/adapted in the 21st century. The author looks at 'new interpretations made within the current cultural landscape by designers who dare to take steps into the unknown'. Traditional techniques and motifs are reworked in atypical, up-to-date ways, creating a fresh new visual language that is still identifiably Indian.
Separate chapters examine the work of 23 designers and artists in terms of craft revival, surface treatment, texture, minimalism and narrative. Raw Mango, for example, glories in the drenched colour of the cones of pure colour pigments found in Indian markets creating saris of extreme colour that are both minimalist and overpoweringly intense, while bai lou reposition the delicate motifs of Bengali jamdani, scaling them up into bold, oversized, geometric shapes. In Kutch, architect and designer Kirit Dave deconstructed the rigidly arithmetic system of ikat into deliberate fracture and dissonance, whereas for Ravage disharmony is achieved by piercing, fraying and embellishing fabrics to make highly theatrical garments that simultaneously allude to bazaar kitsch and Punk subculture. Popular culture is celebrated with Play Clan's madcap digital prints and hand embroideries and Goodearth's unashamedly romantic delving into Bollywood, history and legends.
The last chapter looks at the small but growing number of Indian artists such as Mithu Sen, Manisha Parekh and Parul Thacker for whom fibre and fabric are an integral part of their studio and gallery practice.