Delhi-based NGO, Happy Hands Foundation, has been working with rural artisans from across India for almost three and a half years now. But in 2011, they decided to hold a residency for these artists that provided them with skills and trainings to enhance their working structure. This includes understanding the market scenario, design concepts, packaging, correct use of colours and more. “We realised that their works were brilliant, but they lacked the skills that could make them into complete designers. That’s how we planned this residency,” says Medhavi Gandhi, director, Happy Hands Foundation.
In its first edition, the residency, which took place last month for 25 days, saw four women artisans — D Padma from Andhra Pradesh, Radha Sullur from Karnataka, Heera Devi from Bihar and Sebati Swain from Orissa. “Padma didn’t alter her style of mask-making, but after the residency, we saw a change in her work, as she started experimenting with different expressions on the masks and colours,” says Gandhi. Padma has made nine masks on different expressions, wine boxes, holders and key chains.
The works by these artists are on display at an exhibit-cum-sale at The People’s Project Studio in Saket. The starting price is Rs 25 for a book mark and goes up to Rs 5,000 for a painting. Other artworks on display include a series of Chittara paintings by Sullur, who has developed story board style paintings on a folklore about Shiva and Nandi. Swain has used her skills in tribal art and patachitra paintings on various surfaces like cold drink bottles, mirrors and other useable materials. Artist Devi has created a huge canvas in Madhubani style that depicts different marriage rituals.
“With this residency, we are creating a platform for theses artists, where collaborating on a project in future, they should not be limited to just labour, but should also be able to contribute to various other inputs like designing, packaging and marketing,” says Gandhi.
Catch it here
Artisans to Designers: An Exhibit
Building No.8, Lane 2, Kehar Singh Estate, Saidulajab, Saket.
11am to 7pm
Nearest Metro Station:
Saket on the yellow line