A Safed traveling exhibit aims at building bridges between textile weavers in India and designers around the world

One tends to judge a fabric based on its color and texture, but what if you take away the colors? A textile installation called Safed aims to focus on textures and remove the color element. The all-white hanging installation consisting of huge panels of various indigenous textile patterns and weaves was recently on display at the Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts in Delhi, and will now travel to the United States, the United Kingdom, and cities across India.

The exhibit is part of Sayali Goyal’s The Craft Project, the founder of independent web magazine Cocoa and Jasmine, which aims to celebrate cultural diversity through objects, folk art, craft and design. There was a session on the site with Delhi Crafts Council’s Purnima Rai, Craft Revival Trust’s Ritu Sethi, and INTACH’s Bindu Manchanda as speakers on Indian crafts representation in the West.

On Safed’s concept, Goyal says, “While traveling to India’s various textile regions, I have always been fascinated by dyers, embroiderers and weavers ‘ workshops and homes. Some of these workshops had loose white fabric hung for natural bleaching, and I wanted to translate that experience for viewers. “She adds that the white fabric is a common string in most of India’s textile crafts, and her color stands for purity and unity.

On Safed’s concept, Goyal says, “While traveling to India’s various textile regions, I have always been fascinated by dyers, embroiderers and weavers ‘ workshops and homes. Some of these workshops had loose white fabric hung for natural bleaching, and I wanted to translate that experience for viewers. “She adds that the white fabric is a common string in most of India’s textile crafts, and her color stands for purity and unity.

Although she admits that the visual display of all Indian crafts in white, such as kalamkari, is not possible, but most weaves, embroideries and some prints can be. Pashmina, Eri silk, khadi, cashmere, Maheshwari cotton, jamdani and kora khadi are included in the installation.

A tangible exhibition was a natural progression for Cocoa and Jasmine for Goyal and her team. She says, “Although the online medium has its own pros, it could take away the beauty of things, especially in art, craft and design.” Rai, Sethi and Manchanda discussed three aspects during the inaugural day of the exhibit: craft documentation, sustainability within craft communities (cultural, economic and environmental) and representation of Indian crafts in the exhibit. “Making crafts aspirational is important.

In the West, Indian crafts are perceived as luxury, as people can appreciate the process and the craftsmen, proving that we can preserve culture and communities through design intervention, “adds Goyal.

The team will be traveling with Safed to the USA and the UK in August-September to implement some of the suggestions and recommendations made during the session. “There’s a lot of information about each craft on the internet, but we’ve been curating it for the luxury buyers and designers who want to connect with craftsmen. We will soon be publishing on the website a directory of craftsmen, “she explains.

The facility will also travel through India after October. A different panel will be curated in each town. More craft shapes will also be added to expand the display scope. Goyal says, “We’ve documented seven crafts so far, but I’m going to Kutch and other textile regions for more documentation. The Safed material library also includes more white fabrics. The craft project is going to be a continuous conversation between manufacturers, designers and consumers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *