New Delhi, Sep 28: Artist Shelly Jyoti has taken inspiration from the Gandhian philosophy of swadhama (own duty) and sarvodaya (universal uplifting) for her exhibition “Salt: The Great March” that was inaugurated here Saturday.
The Gurgaon-based artist has collaboration with ajrakh artists from Bhuj to help them financially, and re-craft quilt-making traditions on khadi.
The exhibition will run at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts till October 20.
“Ajrak is a traditional form of printing in Gujarat and it is where the roots of Gandhian philosophy belong to. I have used his two philosophies of swadhama and sarvodaya as metaphors in my exhibition,” Jyoti told IANS.
Along with the 25 contemporary artworks using ajrakh traditions of printing and dyeing on khadi, the exhibition also features instillation of titled “Integrating Khadi” which has been made using 30 metres of khadi and is printed with Sanskrit calligraphy.
“The resonance of this ideology is reflected through my instillation that represents Gandhian thought of developing khadi across India, especially villages for economic independence,” she added.
Jyoti worked with women artisans from Bhuj for this project.
“I have been working with 9th and 10th generation ajrakh artisans since 2009 and using their expertise in their traditional needle-craft, textile and dyeing techniques,” she said.
“This also, in a way, helps them financially,” she added.
Gandhiji’s love for khadi is not the only reason why Jyoti has used the fabric.
According to her, this hand-spun cotton fabric is wonderful for colour absorption, even though it has bee forsaken despite its many benefits.
“The expansion of rural khadi industry has not happened due to large scale industrialisation in the textile sector with large scale automation and synthetic fibres,” she pointed out.
“Despite the fact it is the best fabric to wear in summer and in winter too. We have almost forgotten it. I hope, through this exhibition, people see how ajrak prints make it fashionable and yet traditional,” she added.