HYDERABAD: Over thought of ‘what sort of negotiations are made while deriving from craft techniques?’ Or ‘how is craft recontextualised in an artist’s studio, travelling from an artisan’s workshop or a community workplace?’ The ongoing group exhibition Crafting the Crossroad at Dhi Artspace aims to answer these questions and a few more. Artists from across India and Sri Lanka Chathuri Nissansala, Mousumi Karmakar, Rajarshi Sengupta, Shruti Mahajan and Susanna Bauer are showcasing their artworks and installations inspired by the history, techniques and materials of different craft traditions and have incorporated them into the visual language they have developed over the years.
Explaining the concept behjind the exhibition, the curator Somedutta Mallik says, “The exhibition addresses the discriminatory approach towards traditional crafts in respect of the creative possibilities of fine arts, it considers the need for a different theoretical approach to understanding the complexities of the interface between the two. Crafting the Crossroad is a collaboration to explore the transitory space between arts and crafts, innovations and traditions, individualism and collective practices.”
The entire conceptualisation process took quite a few months. “From April we had started planning for the concept. Once we had zeroed in on the theme of craft-inspired artworks, I got in touch with the artists I knew are well versed with the idea. We wanted a dialogue happening through the exhibition as the context of craft differs from place to place,” she says.
Rajarshi Sengupta’s work is inspired by Kalamkaris work, its birthplace and its journey to India. Whereas, Mousumi Karmakar’s works are all in straight lines and grids, inspired by fishing nets. “Mousumi’s works are done using bamboo sticks and palm tree fibre, depicting the architectural forms of a city. One of the other interesting installations is by Shruti Mahajan and Susanna Bauer. Shruti’s work is all about looms, weaves and threads which she has done by collaborating with the artisans. Susanna is a UK-based german artist who is showcasing crochet work on dry leaves.
On the other hand, Chathuri Nissansala, who is from Sri Lanka, talks about healing through her artworks. As a citizen of a country which is going through such a struggling period, she has taken broken sculptures from bombing attacks and repaired them to give new lease of life. All the artworks are different from each other, but speak a language of unity together,” says Somedutta.
Dhi Artspace’s ongoing group exhibition Crafting the Crossroad, showcases the works of artists who have derived inspiration and ideas from history, techniques and materials of different craft traditions