The Kaarigari rugs record the nuanced signature movements of block printing artisans and translate them into patterns that become each artisan’s individual signature, an impression of their time, work and body.
The patterns you see on the textile illustrate the movement of the artisan Heeralal Kumar, on their printing table – specifically finger points of individual artisans. (Pink/Yellow – Left hand, Blue – Right Hand). These dots are representative of their swiftness, skill, dexterity – their signature.
The colour scheme of the rugs is reflective of Jaipur, the city in Northern India, the region where the artisans belong.
The rugs come in a set of two, depicting the movement of two block printing artists, brothers who have been printing for 25 years together.
Kaarigari, कारीगरी, (Craftsmanship in Hindi) explores the celebration of a craftsman as a front runner in his craft. Hand Block Printing, a 500-year-old traditional craft in India, is now becoming redundant due to advanced digital printing systems and is requiring craft individuals to realize the worth of continuing it. Kaarigari is aimed at delivering recognition to the artisans towards their work by highlighting their individuality.
The block printing artisans print for an average of 10 hours continuously every day. Thousands of stamps that print almost as muscle memory. The monotony and the mundane routine are quite tiresome. Upon working with them and observing them, Rashmi realised that each artisan prints in an entirely unique way. There is a notion of performance/dance that is complimented by their movements, their signature move. Rashmi began to record those little nuances of movements to translate them into patterns, using analogue techniques like light & motion study and digital tools – long exposure photography and Virtual Reality.
Supported by Textiel Lab | Textiel Museum Netherlands, all materials used to weave the rug are from recycled yarns.
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