Andrea Zapp, a media and textile artist, believes in following what she likes. It was this belief that took her to Gujarat at the start of this year, with an urge to delve deeper into the art, craft and textile of the state. She was so fascinated by its culture that she decided to create dresses with the imagery that she had gathered during her stay. And now, Zapp is ready with a collection of those textile artworks and will be displaying them at her debut exhibition in India at The Loft.
“This exhibition is a digital craft, design and media arts project, which uses photography and data imagery to turn fabric into a screen and canvas, creating images as a base for hand-made silk dresses. The dresses display urban views, landscapes and objects of culture and curiosity. The dress pattern has been kept pure and timeless to let the bright picture narrative take centrestage. The garments are inspired by my recent research trip to Ahmedabad, exploring the colourful story of crafts and textiles, and the dresses aim to capture this vibrancy and distinct local flavour,” says Zapp.
The artist always wanted to exhibit in Mumbai and hence found these artworks appropriate for an exhibition in the city. “My exhibition is a lovely conceptual take on showcasing more site-specific works in India. Also, I have never been to nor have I exhibited in Mumbai. I am intrigued about the local art and culture scene there and hence, I’m really looking forward to this exhibition,” shares Zapp. After Mumbai, the exhibition will travel to Ahmedabad. When quizzed about the challenges she might have faced while working on this collection, Zapp was candid, “So far, it hasn’t been difficult as I have created the artefacts on display at my workshops back in Manchester, which is a familiar environment.”
Zapp also reveals her opinion about the art scene in India. The artist is impressed with the amalgamation of traditional and modern techniques that artists use here.
“I have had more exchange so far with textile artisans due to the nature of my previous research trip. I think there is an interesting contrast between the traditional methods and new debates and techniques in contemporary arts. I remember having visited a large exhibition about contemporary Indian art at the Saatchi Gallery in London a few years back, which was very experimental and impressive. I hope to get more insight into contemporary art in India while I’m in the country,” she elaborates. Zapp will be in the country till August 27 and plans to travel to other cities as well.