Ode to the unsung craftsmen

Safety pins, handkerchiefs, jute, iron nails and mopping cloth have substituted the humdrum canvas for 36-year-old artist Rakhi Peswani. Titled Anatomy of Silence, Peswani’s collection of artworks on display at The Guild highlights the neglect of craftsmen and hand-embroidered works in contemporary society.

Verse Converse

The title of the exhibition refers to the state of being mute or silent which is integral to painting, sculpture and object making. The work of art thus holds a mute relationship with the society it survives in.

The choice of materials and processes serve as reminders of certain segments of our society that face displacement and are neglected. “The relationship between laborious work and a craftsman’s body is explored and seen vis-à-vis the situation of the hand-made today.

The message is to sensitise the viewer towards hand-made products, not for the sake of commodifying the practice, but for psychology. The exhibition questions avenues where craftsmen can be given their due,” says Peswani. The artworks include hand-embroidered handkerchiefs, hand-darned organza fabric, embroidery on mopping cloth, khadi and burnt polyester curtain fabric.

Shelter (For the itinerant)

Peswani had been teaching Visual Arts at the Sarojini Naidu School of Fine arts and Communication, University of Hyderabad, for eight years. Peswani, a recipient of the Inlaks Scholarship, has been part of several artist residencies.

Till March 7 at The Guild, 02/32, Kamal Mansion, Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba. Call 22880116

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