Though I have not spent much time working hands on with Kalamkari, I have always enjoyed whatever little opportunities I get to engage with this craft. North East India has kept me cosily tucked in its lap that I barely venture out, unless it is for the Himalayan mountains. It has to be something like Kalamkari to pull me out of these hills and mountains.
There are more than many amazing experts in the field of Kalamkari. I just follow them and try to learn the deeper nuances of this craft through them. I have drawn a relationship with Kalamkari to bind its connecting thread with weaves of North East India.
The intention is to create prototypes that can significantly represent how textiles of these two diverse regions can come together creatively. And the only way to attempt cultural assimilation of two regions is a creative intervention where the two don’t merge into each other, neither do the two stand apart, but offer a bridge for each other to cross over if the will arises! And to keep in heart that each of these cross overs are only momentary transitions, but never a surrender.
Assimilation with dignity. Assimilation with clear outline of identity. Assimilation with substantial presence.
In solidarity with dignity of North East India in mainland India.
This shawl has two complementing sides.
One side is hand crafted Kalamkari from Sri Kalahasthi, Andhra Pradesh.
And the other side is handspun Muga Ghicha yarn of Gogamukh, upper Assam, woven by Tai Khampti weavers in Arunachal Pradesh.
Also included is borders using Malkha.