Kalamkari in new avatar

Updated: Aug 11, 2019, 08:38 IST | Samiksha Mishra

Artist Lavanya Mani distills her life's work in kalamkari for a two-day workshop

Kalamkari in new avatar
Artist Lavanya Mani at Gallery Chemould during her recent exhibition

An alumni of MS Baroda, 41-year-old Lavanya Mani has spent her life trying to re-imagine kalamkari not as a fabric but as a canvas. With knowledge gleaned from craftsmen and lots of personal research, Mani is going to sieve through her journey for a workshop. Kalamkari is hand-painted or block-printed cotton textile, and Mani has been experimenting with it since the beginning of her practice.

"I was [very] interested in traditional dyeing and printing processes in India, especially kalamkari, maybe because of its similarity to painting. Using a 'traditional' 'craft' medium as a contemporary art practice necessitated an awareness of its location and context within the larger historical and cultural dynamic," says Mani. So, she delved deeper.

Lavanya Mani painting

"I have been trying to explore the multilayered role that dyed and printed textiles have played in the history of colonial trade, the establishment of colonialism and the economics of political domination and imperialism in India, while simultaneously drawing attention to the historical time when 'high art' and 'craft' became opposing categories that needed to be defined against each other in order to validate their existence." Her recent exhibition at Gallery Chemould, Signs Taken for Wonders, created whole new worlds onto dyed fabrics. And her upcoming workshop is a chance to understand the process she goes through while pulling her art together.

When: August 16 from 10 AM – 5 PM and August 17 from 10 AM – 2 PM
Where: JJ School of Art, Dhobi Talao, Fort
Entry: Rs 900
To book: chemouldprescottroad@gmail.com

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