LOkesh Ghai ✿ A craft song-catcher

Lakhabahi Rabari wearing the kediyun made by LOkesh Ghai and LOkesh Ghai wearing the kediyun made by Badhiben and Puiben.

LOkesh Ghai is a unique figure. His rich understanding of textile crafts is embedded in strong connections to traditional communities. This gives him wonderful access to the spirit of making that transcends individual interests. This is reflected in his celebration of song:

The songs help to bring out cultural values through storytelling. There is an emotional value in making; the songs also bind the communities on a deeper level. In current times we ponder sustainability and ethical issues in making, the importance of emotional design and consumption patterns.

Could there be songs that could bring consumers closer to the makers? Songs about the experiences of the making processes? Songs that credit the unknown makers? Protest songs to highlight the ethics of making? Song of care for sustainable making?

We’re very pleased to provide a platform for LOkesh in his support of artisans during lockdowns with the story-making sessions.

Based in Ahmedabad, India, LOkesh Ghai is a textile artist, researcher and academician working with traditional craft practice. In 2011, his textile art responding to the study of Frozen Charlotte was featured at the V&A Museum of Childhood, London; Harley Gallery, Nottinghamshire. As part of Cultural Olympiad of 2012, he led public workshops and presented his work on the theme of Cotton-Exchange at Gallery of Costume, Manchester and Harris Museum, Preston. In the same year, he created a textile shrine at Blackburn Museum. As a designer and associate curator he presented ‘India Street’ exhibition in Scotland; the show was a runner up for the most sustainable design practice award in the Edinburgh International Art festival 2014. This was followed by ‘India Street’ part-two showcased in Tramway, Glasgow; and at Conflictorium museum, Ahmedabad in 2016-17. In 2002, LOkesh presented a solo fashion on Khadi for Studio Mélange NCPA, Mumbai and design installation for Ahmedabad International Art Festival 2011. He has been visiting lecturer at numerous institutions both in India and the UK including the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Gandhinagar, Royal College of Art, London and Somaiya Kala Vidya, Kutch, India’s premier design institute for traditional craft communities. He has been working with the Warli tribes of folk artists since a decade, towards the 70th year of Indian independence as part of Re: imagine India, the project was showcased in art galleries and educational institutes in India and England. Follow @ghailokesh.