CHENNAI: Textile art historian Jasleen Dhamija unveiled the latest range of Phulkari Bagh and Sainchi, titled ‘The Sacred Grid’ curated by her, at the Crafts Council of India exhibition recently.
Phulkari finds its roots in the wheat lands of Punjab and Haryana, where women keep the ancient craft alive.
Talking to CE about the show which concluded recently, Jasleen reveals how the collection curated by her drew inspiration from the patterns. “The Bagh and Phulkari collection are in silk, with floral motifs and embroidery. They are rich and completely adorned by the intricate techniques that speak of history and rituals, passed down as an heirloom. Bagh is a representation of the emotions of the women who work on it,” she tells us.
While Phulkari and Bagh are well-known in the South, Sainchi, which finds its roots in a ritual dedicated to the mother goddess, is relatively new. “I doubt if people here know about it. It is done on cotton and is embroidered with figurative patterns,” she explains.
While she elaborates on the richness of Indian textiles that are draped in tales of tradition and costume, the 81-year-old textile veteran adds that the South has managed to preserve the textile tradition. “The sthapathis (sculptors) have managed to continue the tradition. Similar is the case with the pattamadai mats in Tirunelveli,” said Dhamija who has been visiting the city for exhibitions for a few years now.