For art’s sake

Never before had such a large contingent of Shilpa gurus, national awardees, Sant Kabir awardees or National Merit achiever craftsmen and artisans congregated to collectively showcase their talent, as they did this time for the fourth edition of the Chandigarh National Crafts Mela, on which the curtains drew yesterday.

Dedicated to the ‘Tribes of India’, the mela reflected the panoramic art and craft scene of India. As the participant craftspeople gave a live demonstration of their unique gifts, HT City interacted with them to extract the essence of their works.

Pushpa Harit

Harit, who belongs to Neemuch district in Madhya Pradesh, is a jewellery designer specialising in tribal bead jewellery. After earning a BSc degree in medical, Harit pursued jewellery designing as a hobby and went on to become a flourishing business woman, with 53 women workers supporting her work and themselves. “I studied the jewellery of tribals from the Jhabua region in Madhya Pradesh and introduced innovations in the designing of rings, bracelets, payals and kangan, much to the liking of the tribal women,” says Harit. Her jewellery was also displayed in the Czech Republic later. Awarded with the MP State Award in 2004 amongst other awards, Harit says she looks forward to being 60. “This is because I will then get the highest Shilpa Guru sammaan,” she says optimistically.

B Loganathan

Born in Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu, and now settled in Chennai, Loganathan is a specialist in Tanjore paintings. At the Crafts Mela, he garnered the attention of a large number of visitors through live demonstration of a painting of Hindu deities that used 24-carat gold leaf and precious kundan, gold and meenakari jewellery. Loganthan’s paintings range from R2,500 to R4,25,000; since some are over 200 years old. Making Tanjore paintings is Loganthan’s family profession, one that has been passed down since generations. The painter is helped in his work by his wife and young daughters.

V Panneer Selvam

Selvam is a state and national awardee from Chennai for being a craftsman of traditional and heritage items such as Thanjavur paintings and Gond paintings. Mostly comprising of Hindu deities with ornamentation in gold, Selvam’s paintings are used in worship and the colours used in the background are usually strong and vivid - such as deep green, blue, red – while the figures are depicted in white, yellow, green and blue. The final effect is derived from the use of gold and gems that gives the paintings a rich look, each costing upto Rs 2,25,000.

Begum Naseem Bano

A UP state awardee and national awardee, Lucknow’s Naseem Bano is a graduate and mother to young daughters. As she explains the making of lehangas with minute stitches of chikan work, dhaniya patti, khaddar patti, aam patti, keel and kangan, it is easy to see how exhausting her work might be. Sponsored by Indian government, her works have been demonstrated in the US, Canada, China and other countries. She prices her designs from Rs 350 to Rs 25,000.

Ashok Kumar Paswan

This specialist of Madhubani paintings is a state and Kalashree awardee. Paswan, who belongs to Bihar, creates marvels on handmade sheets using natural colours derived from tamarind, green leaves, beetroot and cow dung. Since his products are not costly, they also attract more customers.


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