The Khadi March: Just Five Meters, Art works inspired by Gandhi’s concepts

New Delhi, Oct 25 :  Khadi has gained global recognition courtesy the fashion industry and artistic experiments. A solo exhibition inspired by Mahatma Gandhi brings across mixed media art works created using the khadi fabric, ajrakh printing and kantha embroidery.

The exhibition, “The Khadi March: Just Five Meters”, presenting the works of Delhi-based artist Shelly Jyoti, inspired by the Gandhian ideals of swardharma, swadeshi and swaraj, will be on view at Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre, till October 26.

The artist has created her works using the khadi textile printed in collaboration with tenth generation Ajrakh artisans of Bhuj and embroidered with the Kantha stitch in collaboration with a woman’s collective from Kolkata.

“While working with those who have inherited and are passing on our textile traditions, I have been able to consider the critical relationship between the materials and traditional processes used in Ajrakh production, the role of artisan as a maker and the role of an artist as a visualizer,” Jyoti said.

The exhibition is designed to be a study for those who want to understand what the khadi movement stands for, and what it has been able to do.

Jyoti considers Gandhi’s proposition that simply by buying five yards of khadi, India’s thirty crore urban population can transform the lives of rural spinners, weavers, and traditional artisans by enriching their livelihood.

“I am exploring the role of clothing as a movement for social change. I am trying to explore the idea of khadi as a visual expression of national identity and also as a commodity in 21st century to give spinners and weavers a more organized source of livelihood,” she said.

“The idea of consumption of hand-woven handspun cloth by urban people is to establish a connect between urban and rural brethren. The title of this installation is inspired by Lisa Trivedi’s book — Clothing Gandhi’s Nation,” she added.