By: Aarushi Chandel
Artisans from all over the country are ready to exhibit local arts and crafts at the 6th edition of the handmade collective
The Handmade Collective is back. And in its sixth edition, this exhibition (or ‘craft interaction programme’ as they like to call it) by A Hundred Hands, the Bengaluru-based NGO that seeks to protect the arts and crafts of the country, there will be 78 stalls with artisans from all over the country – from Kashmir to Kerala – exhibiting their work.
Dr Sonia Dhawan, one of the trustees, says the initiative seeks to remove the middle man and connect the customer directly with the artisans. “Everything here is hand crafted diligently. They are all pieces of art,” she says. “A major part of the event is the interactions between the consumers and artists. They consumers are often so far removed from the process that they lose appreciation for such things.”
‘The Handmade Collective’ celebrates the unappreciated artisans of the country and their art forms. What people don’t realise is the amount of time and hard work that goes into every item that is created by hand. The artisans themselves take years to master the craft and that is exactly what this exhibition wants to show the customers.
The theme this year is ‘Science in Art’ – an aspect that’s little known about art forms. “For instance, a wax painter needs to know the exact temperature at which the wax can be used to paint. If it’s too hot it will burn and if it’s too cold it won’t spread,” she explains. A weaver has to know the nuances of symmetry and geometry like a jewellery maker needs to know the art of casting metals. Science is part of every aspect of craftsmanship and these artisans who are mostly from rural or semi-rural backgrounds have been trained in these crafts that has been passed down from generation to generation.
This time, the participants and stalls include Mughal artisans, Sanjhi art, Gond paintings from Madhya Pradesh and carpet and shawl weavers from Kashmir amongst numerous other regions and art forms. About 20 per cent of the stalls are for urban artist from the city of Bengaluru, but the majority of attention is focused on rural art. Hundred per cent of the sales proceeds go back into the pockets of the artisans. “The interaction with the customers enables the rural artisans to connect with the market. They get a sense of what they should be making and how,” Dhawan elaborates on how this benefits both sides of the party.
And where there’s an exhibition, there are stalls, where besides indulging in beautiful artwork, you can also gorge on some homemade food.
Where: United Theological College, 63 Millers Road, Benson Town When: December 2-6, 11am-8pm contact: 8861322689