This exhibition on Indian textiles celebrated khadi and its rich history

Large drapes of khadi saris were carefully hung on bare walls, across wooden structures and suspended from the ceiling at Bangalore International Centre as part of Meanings, Metaphor – Handspun and Handwoven in the 21st century. On display from March 31st to April 6th, the exhibition aimed to create dialogue around India’s rich handloom tradition.

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Photo credit: Pallon Daruwala 

Interestingly, the fabrics and saris presented at the exhibition were first commissioned for Khadi – The Fabric of Freedom, a series curated by the late Martand Singh, affectionately known as ‘Mapu’.  It was developed by textile experts such as Rta Kapur Chisti, Rahul Jain and Rakesh Thakore.

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Photo credit: Pallon Daruwala 

At that time, the exhibition travelled to New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata. Along with this, a collection of 108 distinct fabrics was sourced from across the country – handloom centres that produced handspun yarns from the charkha – for this exhibition.

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Photo credit: Pallon Daruwala 

Now, a large part of this collection is acquired by Bangalore-based The Registry of Sarees, which also provided a home to these masterpieces. The collection provides an insight into Mapu’s interest and involvement with Indian textiles.

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Photo credit: Pallon Daruwala 

Meanings, Metaphor – Hand spun and Handwoven’s first iteration were showcased in Chirala in Andhra Pradesh in November last year. Since then it has travelled to Coimbatore and Bangalore. Presented by The Registry of Sarees, a Bangalore-based organisation that enables writing, curatorial and design projects in India textiles, the exhibition was curated by Mayank Mansingh Kaul, noted textile designer.  

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