Reviving a heritage

Reviving a heritage
The City is forever brimming with exhibitions, especially those which display the heritage of the country through products from across the states. These exhibitions only go on to prove that Bengalureans love traditional arts and crafts, however, modern they are. These arts and crafts own a pride of place in their homes.

Revathi Prasad, executive member, The Crafts Council of Karnataka, says that they hold exhibitions like ‘Kuteera’ to provide a platform for handcrafted home products and accessories.

“Be it Kondapalli dolls from Andhra Pradesh, dolls from Karnataka, artifacts from across the country or fabrics like the ‘ajrak’ print yardage — Bengalureans have a lot to choose from. There is an increasing demand for artifacts now,” she says. She adds, “I remember seeing a young customer buying a variety of bells from Kutch for her garden and home. The ample choice encourages most to drop in at the venue. Exhibitions are like a window to the world.”

“Earlier, such events saw families but nowadays,  more and more young people can be seen. They have become curious about such events. This is an encouraging trend and hopefully here to stay,” she says.

Tradition is now coming out in many flavours and young people are adapting it to modern times.

There are those who say that increasing and fast-changing trends are also responsible in bringing artifacts, art decor and regional fabric into the spotlight.

Raveendra Nayak from Gujarat State Emporium, Koramangala, says that with youngsters becoming more conscious about style, block-print fabrics from Gujarat are now available in palazzo pants and other stylish formats.

“Apart from our fabrics, woollen shawls, ‘ghagra chollis’, Patola silk saris, we also have artforms that young and old admire, like ‘sankheda’ furniture, small puppets, bird hangings and embroiderered Kutch ‘toran’,” he says. He adds that fashionable items like stoles sell most, because of the variety and the colours the fabrics have.

While many agree that Bengalureans are inquisitive about the country’s varied artforms, some say that more encouragement will help the artisans a long way.

BC Lanka, store manager of Utkalika Orissa State Emporium, Residency Road, says that the most popular among the items sold are fabrics with Ikat work.

“Our other popular works include the silver filigree and the ‘pattachitra’. Even applique patchwork fabrics are increasingly popular,” he says.

Lanka adds that the citizens are more aware of Odisha’s art and culture nowadays, due to increased exposure.

“We have many people who purchase items as gifts for others too.” He adds that Dhokra artwork and works on sandstone are also sought after by many. “We have regular customers who come for these items,” he states.

But in today’s time, there needs to more love and support for these craftsman, says Lanka. “This can be only achieved with people sharing their insights on their purchases and highlighting their experiences on the same. Also, an awareness of original and duplicate works needs to be created among the public,” he says.

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