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Take home an artisan's dream

Kala Raksha, the ongoing exhibition at Artists' Centre, showcases the colourful journey of traditional Kutchi women through their embroidered and applique-work bags, wall hangings and cushion covers

Wall hangings
are priced between
Rs 1,500 to
Rs 15,000

Remember the nuggets of wisdom that grandma would add with a flourish after every bedtime story? Naach na jaane aangan teda, bandar kya jaane, adrak ka swaad or sau chuhe khake, billi chali haj ko... The quintessential desi phrases and folklore come to life without any digital or technological aid through handcrafted products that are on display at the exhibition titled Kala Raksha.

The age-old stories entice you with incredible detail on beautifully embroidered cushion covers, dhurries, wall hangings and bags. Some pieces also have applique work that infuse more nuances, making each product, be it a mobile pouch or jhola, more vibrant. Every exhibit proudly displays names like Raniben, Meghiben and Damayanti. They are craftswomen, who have woven their dreams onto every piece displayed here.

The women have passionately crafted home decor pieces like the wall hangings, which can also double up as a baby's blanket or used as a throw on a sofa. Ranging from Rs 1,500 to Rs 15,000 these show stealers will interest children and grown-ups alike. Their mobile pouches make handy gifts and can also be used to keep lipsticks and makeup brushes. With a bold fish applique, they also serve as cute birthday presents or return gifts for children to store their trinkets. The craftswomen have brought along small bags for as little as Rs 100 to Rs 190 and larger ones for Rs 590 to Rs 890.

For the women artisans, embroidering is not just a way of livelihood. In fact, they want to ensure that the next generation does not merely sustain the tradition but takes it forward. This is why they established the Kala Raksha Vidyalaya, to provide an environment for artisans to thrive. Some of the graduates have also begun their own ventures. Another initiative is to reach out to children through games like Chopard that were played in olden days.

One look at the game and you would definitely want to gift your child a traditional game of Snakes and Ladders or Wagh Bakri beautifully created on cloth. The plucky women with their nimble stitching technique have recreated Ashta Chamma, a popular game played in South India. As you check out the games, you can even interact with the creators.

Till: September 25, 11 am to 7 pm AT Artists' Centre, Ador House, Kala Ghoda.
Call: 22845939

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