Handcrafted tapestries, collectively made by Chanakya School of Craft’s graduates and 27 master artisans grace Indian Art Fair

Making a debut at the 15th edition of India Art Fair, Mumbai’s Chanakya School of Crafts exhibits the dextrous handwork of its pupils adding exclusivity to the design vocabulary on Indian crafts collaborating with French artists.

Dissolving the boundary between art and craft at three separate booths, the pieces made by graduates from the school stand testimony to their inimitable creativity.

Apart from this the work is also being presented by the French Institute in India in collaboration with the Chanakya School of Craft. In his practice, Toguo combines contemporary language with ancestral knowledge.

Last year, the 25-year partnership between Maria Grazia Chiuri and Karishma Swali resulted in the Dior Fall 2023 couture show in Mumbai. The booth also houses two works curated by contemporary French artist Eva Jospin in collaboration with the school. Three more pieces from the collaboration are presented at the Galleria Continua booth E04.

Hand-moulded soft sculptures made witrh bamboo, papier-mâché, and jute

According to Karishma Swali, Creative Director, “The decision to bring these artworks to the fair was prompted by the desire to share the profound message of inter-connectedness and belonging with a wider audience and to celebrate the role of craft in preserving cultural heritage.”

“Artisans meticulously layered hand-spun yarns, needlepoint techniques — like couching, bullion knots and stem stitch — and created hand-moulded soft sculptures using bamboo, papier-mâché, and jute which serve as a tribute to the resilient spirit of femininity and add depth to the series through their tactile presence,” she states

A dozen female graduates from the Chanakya School of Craft and 27 master artisans collectively worked on these pieces. “One crafted work took close to 6,000-18,000 hours to make, depending on the size. Collectively, the entire series took close to eight months to complete,” she adds.

Barthélémy Toguo’s artwork Water Matters (150x500 cm) in collaboration with Chanakya School of Craft

Karishma and the artisans of Chanakya School of Craft have employed over 150 variations of different embroidery techniques and more than 400 shades of organic silk, linen, cotton and jute threads to interpret different aspects of the landscape.

At booth I01, the school features six artworks from the Belong series, including four large-scale handcrafted works and two sculptures. The series has been created by the school’s creative director Karishma Swali, who co-founded luxury bridal brand Jade with Monica Shah and contemporary line Moonray with daughter Avantika Swali.

In March, last year, the 25-year partnership between Maria Grazia Chiuri and Karishma Swali resulted in the Dior Fall 2023 couture show in Mumbai. The booth also houses two works curated by contemporary French artist Eva Jospin in collaboration with the school. Three more pieces from the collaboration are presented at the Galleria Continua booth E04.

Images by Chanakya School Of Craft

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