Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Vision of India

Vision of India is a non-profit organisation committed to improving the lives of India’s rural villages. They aim to provide an integrated rural development program that promotes self-sufficiency. VOI has been connected with projects in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Haryana and several other parts of India. VOI have been working with women to organize self help groups that provide supplementary income to women engaged in weaving, tailoring, doll-making and other craft activities.



Thursday, January 7, 2010

Gond paintings


Paintings developed in collaboration with Gond artisans from Madhya Pradesh will go on display in Tokyo during January at the Japanese International Cooperation Agency. The Gond people are well known for their rich cultural heritage which comes forth in their stories, music, dance and paintings. The Gond are a tribe spread over many Indian states including Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Orissa, and in small scattered pockets of Assam, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. However, the majority of Gond’s today are found in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. It is believed that they settled in Gondhwana, now known as eastern Madhya Pradesh between the 9th and 13th century AD.

Paintings developed in collaboration with Gond artisans from Madhya Pradesh will go on display in Tokyo during January at the Japanese Internaional Cooperation Agency (JICA). The Gond people are well known for their rich cultural heritage which comes forth in their stories, music, dance and paintings. The Gond are a tribe spread over many Indian states including Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Orissa, and in small scattered pockets of Assam, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. The majority of Gond's today are found in Madhya Pradeh and Chattisgarh.


It is believed that they settled in Gondhwana, now known as eastern Madhya Pradesh between the 9th and 13th century AD. Gond artisans depict the religious, spiritual, natural and social cosmos in a diversity of ways, and styles, expressing both individual and collective identities. Traditionally these paintings are found in the inner and outer walls of houses, doors, and windows with the colour limited to whites, yellows, ochres and mud based colours. The availability of a wide range of colours has been readily adopted by the Gond whose work now utilizes the full spectrum of the palette in vibrant, colourful hues.

Paintings are both decorative & ritualistic; they mark seasonal changes such as the breaking of the monsoon, deities associated with certain religious occasions, or celebrate important stages of life such as birth, pregnancy & death. Events and figures associated with local festivals like Karwa Chauth, Deepawali, Ahoi Ashtami, Nag Panchmi, and Sanjhi also find representation in paintings. Similarly, the natural environment is particularly important and Gond artists commonly depict their love of nature, animals and trees. In the belief of the traditionally forest dwelling Gong, trees are connected to gods and contain the cosmos. Gond artists now incorporate observations & themes from contemporary life, alongside traditional motifs & painting styles. Varied in subject matter and style, from stark black & white to brilliant colours, the paintings in this collection are all vibrant in design, reflecting the intricate details & complex patterns used by Gond artists. Craftmark is pleased to bring you this exhibition of culturally unique paintings that reflect India’s rich heritage.




Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Eco-friendly Textiles and Crafts for Sustainable Development


by Nupur Bahl, Project Manager - Switch Asia.
“Consumers are increasingly becoming aware of the environmental and ethical issues and this is opening up new market segments all over the world”, said experts while speaking at a panel discussion on ‘Promoting eco-friendly textiles and crafts” at the India International Centre today. The panel discussion is part of the Switch Asia Project supported bythe European Union and implemented in India by Traidcraft -UK, in partnership with the All India Artisans and Craftworkers Welfare Association (AIACA), Delhi and Consortium of Textile Exporters (COTEX), Jaipur.


The event marked the launch of two baseline studies on the current environmental impact of selected textile and craft production processes and market potential for eco-friendly products in India. The studies point out that, in the minds of consumers, eco-friendliness is not just limited to environmental concerns but also social concerns like fair wages and safe working conditions.

The first study looks at standards for eco-friendly products and their market potential within India and the second study looks at the environment, health and safety issues in five selected craft clusters spread across the country. The study provides recommendations on steps that could be taken to make production processes less harmful to the health of artisans and to the ecology. The study found that chronic toxicity caused by some of these processes could cause serious damage to the respiratory system, eye sight and nervous system of the workers.
In her keynote address, Laila Tyabji, stated that the Indian textile and craft production processes have been passed on from one generation to the next, but many of these traditions are breaking down due to changing market preferences and natural resource degradation leading to a loss of livelihoods in the crafts sector. To arrest this trend, experts said that producers and entrepreneurs need to become more sensitive to the production processes used and the working conditions of workers. The need for putting more emphasis on the disposability of the product as an indicator of eco-friendliness was suggested by Rajan Gandhi of Society for Action Group.

Renowned environmental researcher and activist, Dunu Roy, pointed out that the current emphasis is on curative ways of tackling the health and safety hazards in the textiles and crafts sector whereas there is an urgent need to adopt a preventive approach by getting rid of any harmful chemicals and other potentially harmful factors in the production process itself.
The finding of the study will be widely disseminated among producer communities across the country. The draft reports of the studies have been put up for feedback/comments on the AIACA website and can be accessed at http://aiacaonline.org/health.html

For more information, contact:
Nupur Bahl,
Project Manager - Switch Asia Project
Email: n.bahl@aiacaonline.org
All India Artisans and Craftworkers Welfare Association (AIACA)
18- East of Kailash Community Centre, (3rd Floor), New Delhi - 110065
Ph # 91-11-26416492 / 93 / 94, Ext- 117

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Collection from Sandur

This new production collection of primarily soft furnishings and a small collection of stoles/dupattas has been designed by textile designer & Lakme Fashion Week participant, Julie Kagti in collaboration with Sandur Kushala Kala Kendra SKKK). Sandur works with Lambani artisans in the Bellary district of Karnataka. Lambanis or Banjaras belong to a gypsy tribe and are well-known for their exquisite traditional hand-embroidery using various stitches and mirror crafts. The focus of the collection was to retain the unique attributes of Lambani embroidery, but to use a new colour palette, with designs that are suitable for the contemporary market. Julie brought her own design sensibilities and aesthetic to showcase the skill & expertise of the artisans. The design workshop was part of AIACA-Sandur partnership in Enterprise Support Program. The Program works with craft groups that have the potential to grow but need support to strengthen their management, institutional design, production, inventory management, design, and marketing. More details on Sandur is available at www.kushalakalasandur.com . To read more about Julie Kagti go to http://knotsoncloth.com/profile/julie-kagti




Saturday, November 7, 2009

Nature Bazaar 2009

Nature Bazaar in New Delhi is a large, outdoor mela or market, made up of make shift colourful tents held up with bamboo poles, set around the rolling green lawns of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, on Janpath. This year (2009) there was a Monkey theme, and papier mache monkey's dangled from the trees, greeting visitors, whilst performers donned costume and performed their role as cheeky, naughty monkey's - sometimes too well. Nature Bazaar is the brainchild of Dastkar a society for crafts and craftspeople . It's an umbrella organization that brings artisans from different parts of India under one roof to enable them to sell straight to the public, so that they deal directly with their customer base, and cut out middle men & sales agents. For many groups this is one of the biggest events on their calender, and they spend many months in preparation - weaving, spinning, moulding, shaping, twining, twirling, embroidering.... Nature is held in various cities and showcases the dynamic and skillful work of artisans from across India. The Bazaar is really a hub for creativity, and a celebration of the country's cultural & artistic diversity. The exhibition really is also a sensory experience - popping with colour, texture and pattern.