Mela Phulkari 2017 roots for reviving the Gurumukhi script through art, handicrafts | art and culture | Hindustan Times
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Mela Phulkari 2017 roots for reviving the Gurumukhi script through art, handicrafts

Mela Phulkari 2017 — the fourth edition of the annual art and craft festival in Delhi — has the Gurumukhi script as its theme this year. And Delhi is already enamoured.

art and culture Updated: Apr 20, 2017 21:43 IST
Ruchika Garg
A woman from the Sangrur area of Punjab works on Sangrur bells that include Phulkari threadwork.
A woman from the Sangrur area of Punjab works on Sangrur bells that include Phulkari threadwork.

The theme? Gurumukhi script. The aim? To showcase and revive Punjab’s cultural heritage through artworks and handicraft pieces. And, where is it all happening? At Mela Phulkari 2017 — the fourth edition of the annual art and craft festival that’s on in Delhi. The colourful installations and saleable items at the mela (on till April 13) at India Habitat Centre reflect facets of the daily lives of its people.

This year, the festival is serving as a platform for women affected by farmer suicides in remote areas of Punjab, to showcase their skill. They’ve put up an installation using 2,500 Sangrur bells. Artist Kirandeep Kaur, who is associated with the project, says, “Punjab is not as prosperous as people think. Sangrur is a remote area affected by farmer suicides. We started a project there four to five years ago to uplift the women. They made key rings using Phulkari work.”

The Gurumukhi script takes centre stage in most artworks. Curator Alka Pande says, “The aim is to highlight the cultural symbols of Punjab. One aspect of its identity is Gurumukhi, and we’re exploring its beauty.”

Artists Gurjeet Singh and Jassi Sangha jars reflecting Punjab’s colloquial language.

Of the 12 art installations at the mela, two are by artist Gurjeet Singh. “One is inspired by the era of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and the language used at the time. The other showcases the colloquial language in the villages. We’ve written it on 101 martabans (jars),” he says.

Another major attraction is Raagmala, an installation by artists Harinder Singh and Jagdeep Singh. “It boasts of Nanakshahi bricks celebrating the musical journey of the verses in the Guru Granth Sahib. The 31 ragas used in our scriptures are calligraphed on the bricks,” says Jagdeep.

Celebrities such as filmmaker Imtiaz Ali, and singers Rabbi Shergil and Jasbir jassi are expected to visit the Mela on April 9.

CATCH IT LIVE
  • WHAT: Mela Phulkari
  • WHERE: Open Palm Court, India Habitat Centre
  • ON TILL: April 13
  • TIMINGS: 10am to 8pm
  • NEAREST METRO STATION: Jor Bagh on Yellow Line