Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Ahmedabad Adventure : The Artisans


Well now for a bit more about what I have been doing in India. I was invited by the Alliance Francaise of Ahmedabad (they're like the french version of the British Council) to collaborate on a textile project with a group called SEWA. the results are to be exhibited as part of a cultural event to take place in Ahmedabad later this year and then travel to other cities in India. The objective being to promote the work of this NGO.I jumped at the opportunity. I agreed that expenses only would be paid and I would spend 3 weeks working with women embroiderers some of whom live in the villages in the Kutch region. I spent 2 days in their regional center where about 15 women were gathered together, and we worked on some of the ideas I had begun to develop in Ahmedabad. The rest of the 3 weeks were spent in SEWAS production center based in an old textile factory on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.Here are some of those women hard at work. What is interesting is that each village will be specialised in a particular stitch which has been traditionally practised to embellish their clothing. Sewas Aim is to facilitate the earning power of these women through their traditional craft. Many live in remote villages where there is little or no employment . I have tried to use their traditional know how but develop it into new directions. In 3 weeks we have put together a collection of about 30 pieces, including accessories, scarves, clothes, quilts, bags etc.