The craft wisdom of Kutch weaving - Fourth-generation Kutch weaver Rajan Vankar shares the craft wisdom of this unique textile tradition.
Makar Sakranti: Festivals of gratitude across India - Khushbu Mathur shares her knowledge of the joyous harvest festivals happening across India in mid-January.
Ayudha Puja: Time to thank the things on which we depend - Kshitija Mruthyunjaya writes about a nine-day festival, during which Indians express their gratitude to everyday tools.
Cracking the colour code: The Maiwa-Khatri partnership - Charllotte Kwon and Abdul Jabbar Khatri share their sides of the story about their enduring Indian-Canadian partnership.
Deepawali: A row of lights around the world - Deepawali, Deepavali, or Diwali is the biggest and the brightest of all Hindu festivals. It is the festival of lights: deep means "light" and avali "a row" to become "a row of lights."
Phad painting: On the 150th anniversary of Gandhi’s birthday - On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's birth, we share this project to tell the story of his life in the traditional craft of phad.
Shaping the divine in the lanes of Kumartuli - Ananya Hazarika ventures into the lanes of Kumartuli in West Bengal to witness the creation of gods from clay.
When nomads come to town: Sustaining weaving traditions on the Ladakhi Changthang Plateau - Catherine Allie traces the journeys of nomad weavers in remote north-western India, famous for their tsug dul blanket
In search of the elusive Baluchari in Bengal - Swadha Sonu turns to Kamalan to help her find the heritage crafts of Sholapith, Masland mat-making and, the Baluchars.
Finding the spirit of clay in Rajasthan - Serena Rosevear, an exponent of minimal porcelain, encounters the maximal culture of India, thanks to the Crosshatched tour of Sandra Bowkett.
Culture, craft and cuisine in West Bengal - Liz Wauchope shares her experience travelling through West Bengal, absorbed by beauty and skill.
A journey shared, India dared and why I take tours… - Julia Raath travelled India to find out who make these exquisite textiles, and now makes a path for others to follow.
Khushbu Mathur ✿ Sowing seeds of friendship between sister and brother - A new member of the Garland team writes about the seed rakhi, which helps shares the love between brother and sister with mother nature.
Maggie Baxter ✿ Peeling walls and tattered ledgers - Maggie Baxter shares new works that use embroidery to evoke the textures of time she has found in India.
From earth grew rice, from rice grew the Warli art - LOkesh Ghai's enchantment with Warli art is reflected in the films of Johnnie Magee.
Shilp Shakti: A legacy midst crisis & opportunity - Ashoke Chatterjee champions craft as a vital part of Indian society and economy at an event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Visva Bharati, the university founded by Rabindranath Tagore in Santiniketan.
Re-Threading the tapestry of an arid topography: A return to Kutch with Maggie Baxter - Gopika Nath returns to Kutch to reflect on the enduring embroidery culture and distinctive collaborations of Maggie Baxter.
Male: The act of flowers - Krishan Rajapakshe pays homage to the garland-makers of Indian with his camera.
Do you know what this textile from Nagaland is? - Please note this query about a sash from the Indian north-east state of Nagaland.
Sahaj ✿ The Vernacular Furniture of Gujarat book - An important new book from our friends in CEPT Ahmedabad about vernacular furniture
Glimpses of the first Indian Ceramics Triennale - We're excited to herald an important new event in our orbit of craft and design in the Indo-Pacific. The first Indian Ceramics Triennale: Breaking Ground is open in Jaipur from 31 August to 18 November 2018.
Votive Horses of Poshina, Gujarat - Mitraja Bais writes about votive offerings of terracotta horses
KUTCH: a visual identity for a radiant people - Ishan Khosla reflects on a graphic design project using the vibrant crafts that belie the parched and bleak salty land they live on
Alistair Rowe’s Chandni Chowk: One Altered Move - Andrew Varano maps the influence of Old Delhi on the grided glass sculptures of Alistair Rowe
Washed ashore: Art works from the Indian Ocean - Gopika Nath mends a life as shells along the Indian Ocean
They remember those who do not speak: Madhvi Subrahmanian’s recent ceramic works - Nancy Adajania delves into the map shields of Madhvi Subrahmanian and discovers a sense of place in an interconnected world.
Looking in looking out: Yogic practice and public art in Western Australia - Maggie Baxter writes about two public artworks: 'Spanda' by Christian de Vietre on the new Elizabeth Quay Big Healer made of recycled Peppermint Trees by Lorenna Grant Busselton.
Vahana: An Indian-Australian cross-cultural ceramic experience - Bernard Kerr describes the epic production of a 3.5 m high terra cotta horse at the Midland Junction Art Centre by potter Mr Kasirajan from Tamil Nadu
Katna’s Kantha: Stitching a future - This December, Katna’s Kantha by Street Survivors India will make their debut at ARTISANS’ with a collection of quilts, saris, dupattas and stoles in silk and cotton.The Street Survivors India project was founded by Shabnam Ramaswamy in Murshidabad in 2004 and employs 1500 women in 50 villages. At 19, Shabnam escaped domestic violence, living in impoverished conditions while trying to support two children. She overcame these challenges to eventually become a social entrepreneur. Shabnam started Katna’s Kantha, to provide women with education and financial independence, reviving a local skill unique to the women of Katna. Today their kantha embellishes bags, stoles, saris and dupattas all made by upcycling vintage saris, and turning rags into textile riches.
Mala: The floral garlands of India - Mitraja Bais explores the meaning of the garland that pervades life in India.
Turkey Red on India Street - A fascinating collaboration between India and Scotland around the mythical dye, Turkey Red.
Galeecha: Cultural Textiles Design - This exhibition is a marvellous sequel to Liz Williamson’s article Sky’s the limit: The Cultural Textiles Rug Project Galeecha: Cultural Textiles Design is an exhibition presenting work designed by students enrolled in the 2017 Cultural Textiles course which ran in Gujarat, India in January / February 2017. One of the course projects involves students designing for handblock-printed rugs or yardage. Having undertaken a course in Gujarat, India, students translate patterns and motifs of their experience in India into designs for rugs or yardage. Selected designs will be block printed by hand with natural dyes onto cotton dh Source: Galeecha: Cultural Textiles Design
New space for objects in Sydney: HAKK by Gunjan Aylawadi - The inaugural Object Space exhibition will feature the work of talented paper artist Gunjan Aylawadi. Sydney-based paper artist Gunjan Aylawadi presents HAKK, a large-scale, intricate paper installation.
The time-honored Ashavali brocades of Gujarat - Vishu Arora finds a workshop in Gujarat India that is successfully continuing a textile tradition more than 500 years old, thanks to the magical waters of Lake Kankariya.
A textile selfie, with love from Rajasthan - Fiona Wright weaves a story that combines stencil art, Indian block printing and selfies. And it's all in the family.
Godh: in the lap of nature - Mandy Ridley shares her experience collaborating with Indian designers and folk artists for the Kochi-Muziris Biennale.
Narrative design – Learnings from India - Following issue #5 of Garland magazine, a series of events in India brought experts together to reflect on the role of storytelling in craft practice today. There was special interest in the role of new media, such as video, websites and e-commerce in offering space for narrative development. We learnt that the “story” was often about the process of “getting to know” the object. It was a sign of care that the user took to ask the question, click the link or travel to the place of production. The information gained then provided the user with privileged knowledge that they could share with others, such as when visitors to their home inquire about a curious object on the shelf. The […]
New Homes for Old Stories – Symposium/workshop in Mumbai, 5 February - A symposium/workshop, 5 February 2017, 3-6pm Artisans Gallery, Mumbai To coincide with issue #5 of Garland magazine, a discussion and workshop will be conducted on the nature of storytelling through objects. This will involve a review of the traditional stories attached to objects and the new platforms emerging in e-commerce. The challenge is to find a way in which the online market can sustain some of the rich narratives previously transmitted through oral traditions. What are the components of a good story? How can we add narrative value to handmade objects today? If you are interested to be part of this event, please send an expression of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org by 16 January.
Issue #5 – @India - Thanks to your support, the first Garland was launched exactly a year ago today. We hope you’ve enjoyed the journey thus far. Now we venture to India with a feast of articles to engage your eye and mind.The centrepiece is a quarterly essay about Sandra Bowkett by our new laureate Andrew Stephens, which explores how a foreign ceramicist can connect so deeply with a village of Indian potters. We focus particularly on the West of India, featuring what’s old and new in Mumbai and Gujarat. Articles consider whether the spirit of Gandhi is still alive and innovative takes on classic textiles.Next door we feature two surprising views of creative life in Pakistan. There are stories told through glass to coincide with next […]
E-commerce: what is gained and lost when artisans sell online - By contrast with the retail story, e-commerce promises to convey more of the stories of the handmade objects on sale. Aerospace engineer David Moorhead looks critically at its benefits for the craftsperson. This articles includees an outline of recent platforms for evaluation.
New homes for old stories - “Durvásas was wandering over the earth, when he beheld, in the hands of a nymph of air, a garland of flowers culled from the trees of heaven, the fragrant odour of which spread throughout the forest, and enraptured all who dwelt beneath its shade.” Vishnu Purana Book 9 As the story goes, Durvásas gave this garland to Indra, who placed it on the head of his elephant, Aiávata, which took it by the trunk and cast it on the earth. Incensed at this disrespect, Durvásas cursed the deities and the earth they inhabited, leading to the withering of life. The ancient story of Samudra manthan can be found in most of the Hindu scriptures, like a tale of original sin. It […]
The kaavad: from devotion to decoration - For Ishan Khosla, ventures forth to revive the traditional storytelling device known as the kaavad. Does it still serve its original purpose as a form of religious worship? The kaavad that results from this quest tells the story of its own evolution from sacred to social.
Quarterly essay – The world in a chai cup: Sandra Bowkett and a village of Indian potters - In an old cardboard box on the concrete floor of Sandra Bowkett’s studio there is a huddle of raw-looking chai cups. They are Indian by design and were made by an Indian potter. What are they doing here in rural Victoria? Are they out of place? There are certainly no chai-wallahs (Indian tea-sellers) to be seen nearby. So begins Andrew Stephens essay on the remarkable life of Sandra Bowkett. To learn why she is driven to connect with a colony of Indian potters, subscribers can read the essay here.
The world in a chai cup: Sandra Bowkett and a village of Indian potters - Andrew Stephens visits Sandra Bowkett's studio in the central Victorian town of Tallarook and learns about her life-long connection to an Indian potter's village within Delhi. Despite the economic and cultural gulf between the two places, he finds a compelling dialogue about the elemental forces of our world.
Made in Mumbai - Fiona Caulfield's iconic Love Travel Guides cover the authentic experiences and innovative outfits in today's India. Here she shares her pick of what Mumbai has to offer.
Barbara Mullan: A life with Gujarati textiles - Ansie van der Welt writes about Barbara Mullan's life long affair with Gujarati textiles
Sky’s the limit: The Cultural Textiles Rug Project - Liz Williamson describes an ongoing exchange with rug block printers in Gujarat who are commissioned to produce designs from Australia. The results show a wide-eyed view of India, such as kites in the skies over Ahmedabad.
The kediyun: A slow turn for fast fashion - Intrigued by the kediyun, a Rabari traditional upper garment, LOkesh Ghai apprentices himself to a traditional tailor. Along the way, he learns an important lesson for contemporary fashion.
Indian dirt - In Issue #3, we featured Clare Kennedy as a case study for the Apprenticeship exhibition at Artisan Gallery. She wrote about going to India to study the changing brick industry—"It is a story worth telling". She shares with us now the remarkable discoveries of that trip.
Letting go design in Dharavi - Trent Jansen ventured into the Mumbai "slum" named Dharavi to collaborate with makers in the spirit of jugaad—the Indian ethic of "make do". To finish the job, everyone finds that they have to "let go".
Is Gandhi still alive? A journey to Surkhama - A young craft writer wonders where the spirit of Gandhi might be found in India today. Tanya Dutt hears of a remote village named Surkhama renowned for its handwoven rugs. Will Gandhi be there?
The rare art of Mumbai’s Parsis - Priyanka Kochar uncovers the rare embroidery of Mumbai's Parsis. She finds a combination of Persian and Chinese influence in the textiles of this declining yet powerful ethnic group.
Craft classic: New moves for the old sari - Border&Fall is a fresh force in Indian craft and design. This Bangalore agency has initiated a number of programs to promote the handmade to a new generation of consumers and users. We hear from its founder Malika Verma Kashyap aboout the recently crowd-funded How to Drape Film Series, which will promote this traditional dress by documenting 84 ways in which it can be worn.
Next generation patua: The Handmade Tales project - Medhavi Gandhi shares recent initiatives to revive Indian storytelling traditions. Handmade Tales gathers stories of the craft objects that are treasured in Indian homes. And Folk Fables developed workshops for children to teach them these traditional techniques. As she says, "We believe that to know your future, you must know your past."
Patua storytelling today - Sunaina Suneja writes about her homage to Gandhi in her curated exhibition, Bapu: The Craftperson’s Vision. A highlight is the patua scrolls of Rani, representing a key Indian storytelling tradition.
Launch of Garland #5 – Trading Tales in India - India has some wonderful traditions for telling stories through objects. The December issue of Garland magazine features these along with their contemporary versions in e-commerce and a profile of the vibrant scene around Mumbai and Western India.
Trading tales – call for works - The upcoming December issue of Garland features an online exhibition of objects that tell stories. Artists are invited to submit images of works that fit this theme. This is an opportunity to not only promote work across the broader Asia Pacific but also to compare the creative ways in which we can enable objects to tell tales.
Embracing unpredicability: The collaboration of Laxma Goud and Adil Writer - Aarti Vir writes about the vivacious collaboration between ceramicists K. Laxma Goud and Adil Writer.
The next Taj Mahal? - The Taj Mahal remains today as a testament to the extraordinary beauty of Persian design and craftsmanship. The skills that produced this in the seventeenth century are very much alive in Iran today.
The fragrant myth of Parijat - Our special garland for #3 With Nature was devised by Tanya Dutt, who swapped an Indian summer for a bone-chilling Melbourne winter to help produce this issue.