Hand-embroidered works by Kutch artisans to be exhibited in Mumbai
This weekend, a Bhuj-based NGO's annual exhibition displays exquisite hand-embroidered works by artisans from Kutch
A Kutchi artisan practises traditional embroidery
Fonded 47 years ago by the late Chanda Shroff, Bhuj-based NGO Shrujan Trust has helped revive the skill of making the authentic and unique, hand-embroidered products by local artisans. This weekend, the NGO is back in the city to showcase these works as part of their annual exhibition. The event will also feature a special high-end collection designed by Shroff.
"The exhibition is a tribute to my mother. She was passionate about textiles. She noticed that the people of Kutch refused to accept free food and preferred to work for it. She also realised that the women wore exquisite embroidery, which they created only for themselves," recalls director and Shroff's daughter, Ami. Her mother had started out with requesting artisans to create 30 saris, which she sold and paid them immediately. She then received postcards from other villages in Kutch, requesting her to help them. This led to the foundation of the Shrujan (Sanskrit: creativity) Trust.
Bridal lehenga designed by Chanda Shroff
"She successfully demonstrated that traditional craft can be revived and transformed into an enterprise that enables rural women artisans to earn a dignified and sustainable livelihood. She was the only person whose designs women across 12 communities accepted and were willing to embroider," she adds. Shroff's works include designing bridal lehengas, sarees, shawls and stoles.
Late Chanda Shroff with husband Kantisen Shroff
The exhibition will also showcase works by designer Sudha Patel, who has been working with the trust since 1971, along with traditional embroideries by local artisans. "They love working with Sudha because her designs are innovative. Earlier, the communities were mainly nomadic. If a member of one community liked a piece of work by a member of another, they would learn it from them and then fuse it with their own style to create something new. Now, such interactions are rare," reveals Shroff.
ON: December 18, 10 am to 7 pm (till 5 pm on December 18)
AT: Coomaraswamy Hall, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Fort.
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