India-born German artist Allen Shaw captures the Rabari community of Kutch on canvas
Independent artist, animator and storyteller, Allen Shaw was born in India and is now based in Berlin, Germany. Shaw, who takes his sketchbook with him wherever he goes to create personal mementos to take back from his travels. Known to record his travels through a paintbrush, the artist’s latest exhibition features portraits of the residents of Kutch, mainly documenting artists working on their craft. Most of his work features the Rabari community and includes women and men in their traditional attire.
(From left) Rabari men; Block printing; Three Rabari men with camels
“My love affair with Kutch started 20 years ago, when I went there as a young design student to learn about village communities. Since then, it’s been a pilgrimage each time I have gone back. In 1995, I got involved as a communication designer with Kala Raksha, an organisation that looks into the preservation of traditional crafts in the region. Later, I continued the association as a teacher at the Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya. This connect gave me an opportunity to travel extensively in the region and understand these communities and their crafts,” says Shaw, who uses watercolour to express himself.
“The people in the region and their crafts stand in stark contrast to the vast barren landscapes and have served as food to my gypsy soul for many years. They have walked through the pages of my sketchbooks and left their stories behind. This exhibition is a collection of sketches, illustrations and stories that I have collected from them,” he concludes.
From: March 23 to 26, 11 am to 7 pm
At: ARTISANS’, 52-56, VB Gandhi Marg, Kala Ghoda.