Textiles threaded with memories of travel

There will also be a selection of accessories, some in mixed metals, others pure silver.

Published: 01st December 2022 04:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st December 2022 04:09 AM   |  A+A-

Weavers; Weaving; Textiles

Representational image (Express Illustration)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Remember that friend or relative who would return from their travels with stories in abundance? Those who could paint you a picture so vivid that you’d walk away aching to somehow hold on to their adventure until you have your own. Echoing the memory, Sreemathy Mohan of Sthree Creatives brings to Chennai remnants of her bountiful travels in the form of clothing and jewellery, and this time, you get to keep a piece with you. “This exhibition is a special curation. I have been travelling extensively to Jaipur, Varanasi, Sanganer, Bagru, and Nagpur to learn about different prints. And as a lot of people are coming to travel in December, I think this is a good point to have the exhibition,” she shares.

What’s on offer?
On display will be an assortment of fabrics for Chennaiites — Kanjivarams, Banarasis, Paithanis, unstitched salwar suits, dupattas, Kalamkari, Bandini, Sungudi, Ajrakh, and more. Sreemathy adds that young people may be interested in the Sungudi and Kalamkari kaftans since the garment is all the rage nowadays.

“We have also dabbled in fusion, say, a bagru print on a Madurai sari. At the end of a workshop (during my travels), I also tried a Sanganer print on Kanjivaram. I have basically brought in a lot of textile prints onto Tamil Nadu weaves. We have been working with Gujarat applique to create half-and-half handcrafted (garments) in silk cotton. And there will be some revival of Baluchari and Chettinad cotton as well,” she explains. Those looking to experiment further should be on the lookout for their concept reversible sari that can be worn on both sides in yellow and silver.

There will also be a selection of accessories, some in mixed metals, others pure silver. “Wherever I go, I look for jewellery and accessories. I think every region presents that opportunity (like gemstones from Jaipur),” she says.

Reinventing style
While visitors can enjoy the results of her travels, Sreemathy also takes away irreplaceable memories and learning. With the belief that you have to constantly reinvent, she shares her experience. “The more we travel, we are replaced by ourselves and get to learn a lot of things. This was a learning holiday for me. I learned about Bagru and printing pigment and made my own shawl. Not everyone knows the difference between block-printed, digital printed and screen-printed textiles.

I can (thanks to the travel and exposure). When you do the craft, you know how long you’re standing all day. It’s a messy affair and you understand the nuances of what a block printer goes through,” Sreemathy explains, adding that her visit to Anokhi Museum in Jaipur was wonderful. Now we’re left to see if we can get our own kind of souvenir inspired by it. The exhibition will be held on December 2 and 3 at CP Arts Centre Mini Hall, No 1 Eldams Road, Alwarpet.


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