unique exhibition born from textile printing
- Padma Jayaraj, Thrissur
Elan is a
solo show by Sara Thomas at Durbar Hall, Kochi. The week long exhibition
showcased a collection of textile art, each piece made using Shibori, the
Japanese technique of dyeing silk and then combined to form the final composition.
is a French word meaning the Spirit of Life. Truly the pieces display life:
the beings, fluttering birds, bovine grace, machli in the blue,
musth with its nobility and strength, purush and sthree,
the two sides of a coin…
of my inspiration is the beauty that I see around me...things that we may
miss in our day to day lives. I love patterns and texture in Nature, the
markings on a shell, the feel of a pineapple, the fragility of the fins
of the fish...every day brings me something new and I wait for the moment
when I can translate it into my work."
But the creative
artist goes in search of the spirit beyond the form. For Mangrove
is a source of living beings; Mirage, a slice of the desert; Window,
offers a vista. The village Market a bunch of women selling vermillion
tells the story of India's culture. Eternal mantle is of the bond
between the mother and the child, or Nature personified. Harvest
is a lyrical piece. Abyss is an abstract that speaks of psychological
depth and misery. Monsoon and Autumn are beautiful compositions.
comes from the verb root shiboru "to wring, squeeze, press, etc…"
With this technique a three-dimensional form is embossed on a piece of
cloth. Textile designing is an oriental art. In India, it goes back to
the Mohenjo-Daro days. In Japan, Shibori, the art of dyeing clothes,
is traditionally done on silk kimonos.
exploring and experimenting with Shibori while in college," said Sarah
Thomas. "We were taught the history of Shibori in Japan among other things.
The importance of the process of working was always considered very important.
And I believe this approach has really helped me."
a textile designer by training, takes a piece of white silk cloth to work
her art on. The cloth is twisted, folded, tied, plaited, and even clamped
with metals before it is hand-dyed to get different designs and hues. The
dyed cloth is then cut into intricate shapes and used skilfully to form
a work of art. It is like the art of tying and dying. The colour is cast
and the design is formed. But there are times when the artist consciously
works on a particular concept. It takes seven to ten days at times to make
a piece of work, says the artist. For such pieces, different kinds of stitching
are done on the cloth prior to dying. And later when the stitches are removed,
lo... there emerge patterns aesthetically arranged as if made of brush
strokes. Harvest is the result of this method. To give finer details,
she uses stitch-resist and under stitch resist methods. And then comes,
the next stage of superimposing by cutting and pasting that goes beyond
the scope of Shibori. The artist in Sara Thomas is at her innovative
best when inspiration brings surprises. For example, for designing Autumn
she placed a green leaf between the folds of the cloth and the result was
amazing, which was really the result of an experiment. Autumn, Spring
and Flame of the Forest are typical block-printing designs. But
Nadi and Moon River are beautiful pieces with lyrical touches.
Blue Bottles is contemporary art and shows more technique exploration.
is another special feature of Sara Thomas. Apart from the three primary
colours, it is a fusion of them that gives a new look to her pieces.
is a young graduate in Textile Designing from Srishti School of Art Design
and Technology. Based in Kerala, she has been working freelance for studios
in Bangalore. And she takes commissions or orders to client's specifications
for a living. This is her first solo show meant to create awareness among
people to the changing scene of art the world over. The 21 pieces on display
is a ringing endorsement to her unique talent which keeps alive an Indian
identity in modern equation. She can be contacted at email@example.com
Jayaraj is a freelance journalist and a regular contributor to www.narthaki.com