Khadi A Canvas is a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary.
Our grandfather Shri Abheraj Baldota had the good fortune of being associated with the Mahatma during the freedom struggle. He has been a very important influence in formulating the credo of the Baldota family and its business practices.
“You are not the owner of your wealth but a privileged trustee to serve the community with it.” The Abheraj Baldota Foundation was formed with this motto.
Gandhian influence naturally translated into Khadi becoming an integral part of my upbringing. I have seen the patriarchs of my family only wear Khadi. For me it has been a symbol of patriotism. My interest in textile and design often took me to Khadi Bhandar and I enjoyed designing clothes for my father-in-law who has been wearing khadi for over 50 years. Fuelling my interest further I envisioned doing a saree weaving project in khadi which would marry Indian art and craft.
From the time I conceived this project, I knew that I had to do it with Gaurang. He has done substantial work in revival and innovation of the traditional Indian weaves, working with all the prominent weavers pan India. Apart from friendship, we share a love for textiles and art as well as a fervour for creative endeavour.
We both take pride in our Indian heritage and this project is a culmination of our dream to showcase to the rest of the world the finest of Indian craftsmanship.
Since it is a saree weaving project, the choice of the artist again became obvious. Raja Ravi Varma’s art has popularised the saree, draped in the form we see today.
Gaurang and I met Gita Maini who got RRVHF on board and together we conceptualised “Khadi a Canvas”. We shortlisted RRV’s paintings which are now being painstakingly woven as pallus for the sarees, in the finest Khadi yarn, which have been dyed with innumerable shades of organic vegetable dyes.
KAC is a tribute to the father of the nation and the father of Indian modern art. It is an attempt to glamourise the fabric Khadi, from modest to resplendent by the incorporation of the Jamdani weave. I wish to take Khadi from being an important tool of the past, to a relevant necessity in the present, to a sought after luxury of the future.
KAC for me is a portrait which has hues of my various emotions - my love and pride for my roots, my country, its leaders, its artists, its artisans, its aesthetics and its rich heritage.
The exhibition will open in New Delhi and thereafter it will travel to important museums across the world. It will also be on Google Art & Culture.
Arts & Culture Maven