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A Hybrid is Born

August 31, 2016 2 min read

In the olden days textile-art hybrids came about when a woman married into another group and brought with her art-memes from her parental culture.

Today the world has shrunk and all that ones needs to move in order to transport oneself to another world are one’s fingers.  Just a few taps on the smartphone or laptop and one can easily view the culture and art of another land.

And so it must have happened when a young weaver in Benaras, bored of his traditional motifs sought inspiration in the art from other places!

Or it could be that he became friends with the Patan weaver who was allotted the stall next to his own at some handloom exhibition in some metro and in the course of chitchatting each one also took photos of the other’s art.And decded to adopt some of the motifs into his own work.

Whichever route it took, the patola meme – one of the oldest in India – made it’s way to Banaras, one of the oldest weaving centres of India.

Here are some images of a spectacular silk sari with Patola motifs of dhinglis (doll) and Parrots rendered in  Jamawar weaving from Benaras instead of the traditional Double Ikat method used in Patan:

 

  

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The back shows how complex this weave is! It is hard to imagine how much concentration is be needed to create an error-free piece that is 5.5 x 1.5 meters!

 

Although I have always stayed away from east-meets-west type of fusion pieces that I find quite jarring, this unlikely and uncommon fusion of art from Gujarat and craft from Uttar Pradesh makes me very very happy!

 

jm

Aug 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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