CHENNAI : Through The Needle’s Eye’ is the title of artist Anita Fedver ‘s art exhibition. True to the name, she has used a technique called Gobelin. This ancient form of tapestry is created by sewing thread on a canvas using a fine needle. Born in Croatia, Anita settled in India in 2005, and stays 120 km away from the city in a village called Mangadu in Chennai, a few kilometres from Ranipet.
Talking about her debut exhibition, she says, “I’ve used a special Gobelin technique called petit-point for intricate detailing. The time involved depends on size, needle point and the number of threads used in the piece. All the specially coloured dyed threads are sourced from Europe. I’ve used 25-60 shares in my work. When looked at from a distance, these pieces resemble oil painting. This is a reason Gobelin are replicas of well-known masterpieces.” A piece of artwork takes anywhere from three months to one year for completion. Every stitch is a meticulous exercise.
Gobelin is the name of a family of dyers from the 15th century. They came from Reims and established themselves in Fauburg Saint Marcel in Paris. The first head of the firm was Jehan in 1476. He discovered a unique scarlet pigment that helped develop his business. Today Gobelin is a state-run organisation. They produce limited amount of tapestries to French government institutions.
Anita has displayed 15 paintings revolving around themes like landscapes, Christian school of thinking and portraits. She originally learned knitting, stitching and embroidery from her grandmother and mother at the age of eight. What started out as a hobby has turned into a passion. Her first work in the series was a portrait of a little girl. One of her challenging pieces was on cock fights because of the usage of several colours. “I’m happy with the number of people who’ve been coming. Definitely more than what I expected,” she says.