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  • Baluchari

    Baluchari

    The tradition of Baluchari textiles emerged in a dynamically changing cultural environment of 18th and 19th century Bengal. It is widely known for its depictions of Indo-European social and courtly life in Murshidabad, where it developed a uniquely recognisable visual-material language. Among the most figurative forms of hand-woven brocades in South Asia, its historical legacy of patronage by royalty and aristocracy continues to maintain its appreciation as a rare textile art form from the
    subcontinent.
    In this series of initiatives by Weavers Studio, Kolkata, some of the finest pieces of Balucharis are presented through an exhibition, publication, seminar and other relevant events. Attempting to draw attention to its various creative, technical and historical aspects, it is accompanied by a revival project to develop contemporary textiles – recreating its traditional designs as well as exploring new directions for the future.
    In the early 1950s, the Bengal repertory of designs was introduced to the Benaras handloom industry leading to a new genre of the Balucharis. Such efforts were taken further in the 1980s, consolidating a new, contemporary tradition of its making. This is an area of study that has received comparatively lesser attention than the Bengal tradition. Perspectives from here will help develop a plural and perhaps more comprehensive a context to locate the Balucharis in India and the world. The exhibition will showcase iconic historical pieces from the Tapi Collection and Weavers Studio Resource Centre, along with those drawn from other private and institutional collections. Accompanying installations will bring together paintings, maps, terracota tiles, architectural references and other handicrafts from the period, which communicate the broader artistic milieu of the time. Contemporary pieces are included from Bishnupur and Benaras, as well as specially-commissioned garment interpretations by renowned Indian fashion designers.
    A one-day seminar will invite an exchange on scholarship and discussion on the subject, through academic papers and audio-visual presentations by some of the most eminent textile and art historians of India.
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