Looking for a conversation-starter that is sure to brighten up your home? Head to Artisans Gallery in Kala Ghoda, where designer Nisha Misra brings together exquisite arts and crafts that she collected during her travels across various places in Central Asia.
On offer are bronze lamps from Morocco, raku ceramic kaftans from Turkey, miniature paintings from Uzbekistan, tribal berber silver jewellery from Morocco, and more, under the label Arastan.
Talking about the treasures she handpicked from tribal bazaars and souks during her travel, Misra says, “I was always fascinated by Central Asia and the Silk Route. The art and architecture of the region is extremely unique, and I wanted to share it with the people in India.”
At her exhibition-cum-sale, jewellery is priced at Rs 1,500 onwards, while carpets could cost anywhere between Rs 10,000 to Rs 75,000. The most expensive item is a carpet from Iran, priced at Rs 1.2 lakhs. According to Misra, one of the most interesting pieces is a tapestry from Uzbekistan.
“Lakai nomads, who settled in Uzbekistan, make embroidered panels as dowry items. They are very difficult to find. Luckily, I found a store that sold these collectibles. The silk-velvet embroidered tapestry is more than a 100 years old, and worth Rs 65,000,” adds the 43-year-old ex-IT consultant from Bengaluru.
Ask the travel junkie how she goes about hunting for curios? “I follow three rules while choosing any item. It must be exquisite, created by hand, and must have a story behind it,” she says, adding, “Over the years, craftsmen have dulled their craft, to increase their salability in the market. But, in the process, the craft tends to be lost with time. I’ve worked with master craftsmen, and tried to go back, get their real skill, so that the legacy is carried on.”
Later this year, Misra plans to invite these artisans and craftsmen from Central Asia as a part of a cultural exchange program in India. “We have a lot in common with them including language, food and customs, and it would be great to have them share their crafts with the people here,” she adds.
From February 16 to 18, at Artisans Gallery, Kala Ghoda. Call 2267 3040.