The Great Artist Escape: From Kutch to Mumbai
As a 13-year-old, Khalid Khatri left his homeland Kutch for Mumbai, only to return after six months with images to inspire an entire collection of wall hangings by the time he was 19. The collection is now on display in the city
Khalid Khatri, who belongs to a family of block printers, inherited the art of printing as a legacy but his imagination enabled him to go beyond the usual to create art with a contemporary and innovative twist.
“I lived in Mumbai for six months; I witnessed many places that were etched in my memory. So, it wasn’t tough to craft an entire collection inspired by the city. Some of the work is literal, the rest is abstract,” reveals Khalid, shyly. He hails from the Ajrakh Pur area of Kutch district.
Of his many works that will be on display, don’t miss his wall hangings, which include images of his versions of Churchgate, Juhu Beach, several railway stations and the Taj Mahal Hotel.
The collection also includes stoles and dupattas inspired by Mumbai as well as nature, which he displayed last year. The prices range from Rs 1,500 to Rs 15,000; funds will go towards the artists’s welfare.
“I use a mix media technique. The block printing is traditional to Kutch. But I also use new techniques like over printing, spraying, painting on the fabric, directly. I also use hands, and sometimes rocks to paint for a contemporary composition to my work.
I try to give it an individual appeal,” he informs. Khalid honed his skills at a course on principles of design from the Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya near Mandvi, which gives practical training to young and upcoming artisans.