An art exhibition in the city brings contemporary artists and traditional masters under one roof to explore a lesser-known medium.
Taking a step outside the traditional canvas-and-paintbrush art, artists in Piramal Art Residency are using textiles to give shape to their imagination. As part of the institute’s residency programme, four artists are selected from art schools from across the country and work on a specific project for a month.
Amit Lodh, the manager of the institute, believes that it is like an exchange programme. He says, “Contemporary artists have their own methods and the traditional artists are experienced in theirs, so with this programme, we have an exchange of ideas, after which the artists can improvise and create something unique.”
As a part of the Open Studio exhibition called Warp and Weft, the institute has invited a traditional textile artist from Gujarat who is a master in traditional weaving techniques. “Mostly contemporary artists work with textiles, but they don’t know the traditional weaving techniques. That’s why we have invited a weaver from Bhuj, who will teach the traditional techniques he uses back home,” Amit explains.
Contrary to other residency programmes, Amit believes that focusing on different mediums as opposed to themes gives the artist a chance to explore the medium while developing their own theme. “Usually if there is a theme, it creates a boundary. Instead of working on a topic, we pick the medium so the artist can explore their concept, and this time they have to use textile as the medium. So the artists are stitching, weaving, and trying tapestry, so they are using different methods and techniques.” The previous edition of the Open Studio had artists explore different mediums like charcoal and natural pigment.
For artist Vaishali Oak, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and she is making the most of it. A student of Abhinav Kala Mahavidyalaya, Pune, Vaishali is using layering to create her artwork. “I use the layering technique and sew it on a machine, and then I create textures with sharp tools to give it a weathered look to depict my concept of time,” she explains, adding that her piece is a metaphor for life.
Vaishali, who has been working with textiles to create art for over two decades, was a little doubtful about this programme at first. “Before I came here, I was quite sceptical about how the other participants will be. But everybody bonded and became a great family immediately. It’s a great opportunity that I got to come here, and it’s an extraordinary experience. The institute is helping us be ourselves and we are enjoying it very much,” she shares.
Amit feels it’s important to encourage students to be a part of such an exhibition, which gives the them a chance to interact with the artist. “We invite students from schools and colleges and encourage them to meet the artists and learn about the medium. It’s important for students to understand how art is made using textiles. Handloom in terms of fine art is only available in colleges but not in schools, so we invite school students. This will help them learn how it is done and how much hard work goes into these art pieces.”
The event is scheduled for Sept 14, 11 am onwards at Piramal Art Residency, Thane