The Dastkari Haat Samiti has collaborated with the Ministry of Textile to create an interactive platform where local artisans from India and Israel will exchange their skills and art while creating intricate art pieces that are reminders of the artisanal legacy which both the countries are known for. Five craftpersons from Israel are presently working with their Indian counterparts at the 32nd edition of the Annual Dastkari Haat Craft Bazaar taking place at Dilli Haat, INA, New Delhi.
The 15-day Dastkari Haat Craft Baz a ar will showcase a mixed bag of art pieces which will be created with finesse by Israeli artists in different forms, such as papier-mâché, patchwork, embroidery in textile, paper cutwork and wire mesh. Their Indian counterparts, from Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar, Delhi, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, will be creating two completely new artworks, each combining folk understanding and skill with entirely new designs.
“We had a contact of an Israeli papier-mâché woman artist through whom we arranged four more in different skills,” says Jaya Jaitley, founder , Dastkari Haat Samiti, on the selection of the participants. “Then we selected their Indian counterpart, we looked for skills according to the pictures of their works. Thus we got five pairs of India-Israeli artists together to work on contemporary craft.”
The 15-day Dastkari Haat Craft Bazaar will showcase a mixed bag of art pieces which will be created with finesse by Israeli artists in different forms, such as papier-mâché, patchwork, embroidery in textile, paper cutwork and wire mesh.
Sanju, from Muzzafarpur, Bihar, who is working on Sujni Art—an embroidery form of Bihar—talked to Guardian 20 on her experience of working in this craft collaboration. “I have learned here that the way the Israeli artists make their work is not symmetrical. It initially came across as unusual to me but after working with them I have realised that even I can make something which would be new in India.”
Orna Shahar, an artist from Israel specialising in patchwork, says, “After coming here I have realised that Indians are using only sewing machine but not other tools. I want to see their skills they incorporate in the patchwork they do without using any other tools and probably learn from them.”
The bazaar will also touch upon the important aspects of the craft producers’ life by showcasing myriad cultural performances, including folk music from Rajasthan; the exotic tribal martial Chhau dance rs from West Bengal; the mesmerising Pinguli art, a unique style of painting that incorporates storytelling from Maharashtra; traditional weaving and singing performances from Gujarat; and soulful flute renditions by a Varanasi flautist who will be offering flute lessons to interested viewers.