Promoting parampara

Sep 02, 2012, 10:55 IST | Moeena Halim

With the annual Paramparik Karigar exhibition and workshops back in the city, master craftsmen from across the country get ready to display their artwork and teach you a thing or two, too

Founded by Roshan Kalapesi, Paramparik Karigar has been encouraging, supporting and promoting craftsmen from across the country since 1996. The committee members, a team of people from varied backgrounds (including management, textile art and design), scout the country looking for craftsmen who specialise in rare or dying art or craft forms.

A Phad painting

 “Over the last few years we have managed to find a craftsman who makes the rare Chamba rumaal, which is a beautifully embroidered handkerchief, made only in Himachal Pradesh. We also found scroll painters in Andhra Pradesh. They paint scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata and also make papier mache masks which they wear while performing,” reveals Anu Chowdhury Sorabjee, one of the committee members in-charge of organising the exhibitions.

 Although these crafts will not be on display this year, visitors can find several other arts and crafts from across the country. The four day-long arts and crafts exhibition (September 4 to 8) will include leather crafts, pottery, miniature and Phad paintings, dhurries, water reeds and wooden toys. There will also be a separate textile exhibition (September 11 to 15), which will showcase silk saris, bagru prints, soof embroidery and Gujarati ajrakh, to name a few.

 Award-winning Phad painter Kalyan Joshi, who hails from Dilwara in Rajasthan, has been a member of the organisation from its inception. Like so many of the Paramparik Karigar craftsmen, he will be exhibiting as well as conducting a day-long workshop at the museum. “The art of Phad painting has been in my family for 700 years.

Papier mache craft

Until my father decided to spread this art, it was exclusive to the family. In fact, only daughters-in-law were taught the art, not daughters, so that it stays safely within the family,” says Joshi. All that has changed today, as Joshi enthusiastically teaches at the Chitrashala School he has set up in his hometown, and conducts workshops at schools across the country.

“Although we can’t teach much in a day, it is enough to introduce students to the concepts and content of our art,” concludes Joshi, adding that he enjoys learning about contemporary designs from students who often offer their opinion on his art.

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