Sunday, 19 August 2012

Counting Down (1)

Just a week till Swati and Murji arrive from Ahmedabad to begin their month in the Borders. Trips to mills and workshops await them, and a little sightseeing too.

So they are arriving to this (hope the weather's kind)

and this (Heriot Watt Campus at Galashiels)

A wee bit of a contrast to Jeni and me, in five weeks' time - heading first to Ahmedabad, 


but also to quite a bit of this!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Kala Raksha

I will be rattling on a whole lot more about Kala Raksha in a couple of months' time when I have been and experienced it for myself. At the moment I am in awe of the scope and quality of the work carried out there and feel hugely privileged to be able to be a part of it for a little while. 

There are several strands to the Trust's work, including a well established design school, Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya, retail and trade sales, an incredible museum (online too) documenting work such as these examples here, and workshops for you and me with its graduates in textile crafts including weaving, block printing, batik, bandhani, embroidery, appliqué and patchwork.

I have adapted the following from the Trust's website and borrowed the images from their museum
Established as a trust in 1993, and comprising artisans, community members, and experts in the fields of art, design, rural management and museums, Kala Raksha works with nearly 1,000 embroidery artisans of seven ethnic communities.

Kala Raksha is located in Sumrasar Sheikh, 25 km north of Bhuj in Gujarat. Here, the museum, production unit, shop and guest house inhabit structures that adapt traditional architecture to contemporary function. A model for community development, the centre is locally managed and operates with solar power.

Kala Raksha means "Art Preservation." The Trust aims to preserve traditional arts of the region by making them culturally and economically viable. Trust activities are artisan driven. Without artisans there can be no traditional arts. Kala Raksha encourages community members to work together toward the goal of self sufficiency. Generating income through their traditions, community members can realize their strengths and maintain their identity as they develop.