Hand block-printed on textile, this limited-edition artists' book consists of a sequence of folding panels, designed to invoke pre-modern - particularly Asian - traditions of bookmaking. At the same time, the panels recall and recreate a Mata-Ni-Pachedi - the ritual 'Cloth of the Mother Goddess' - and tell the story of its origins. The textile book is accompanied by a film on the artist and his art tradition. The tactility of the book, invoking the labour and craft that have gone into its creation, is offset by the digital documentary which brings in context and history; together, the juxtaposition of the two approaches expands the frontiers of the book form, while deepening the viewer's enjoyment and understanding of the art tradition. The images featured in the book have been painted by Jagdish Chitara, who belongs to the Waghari community of artisans from Gujarat in western India. Poor and marginalised, they paint and block-print votive textiles for other so-called outcaste communities, equally disenfranchised in the Hindu caste hierarchy. Worshippers who are barred from entering temples offer a painted image of their particular guardian goddess to herself, in the form of a textile shrine. This poignant tradition, deemed low, in fact, expresses a sublime conception of the power of art: gifting a piece of creation to the creator is considered the highest form of worship. This is a notion of transcendence that appears to stretch across cultures and times.
Biografía del autor:
Jagdish Chitara is a skilled folk artist, working in the Mata-Ni-Pachedi style of ritual textile painting from Gujarat, India. Belonging to a traditional group of artists from the marginalised Waghari community, he has been practising this art for over 40 years. Jagdish, who learnt this ancestral craft from his father and grandfather, now lives in Ahmedabad, where he strings up his textile art for sale on a pavement. He works in close collaboration with his family of practising artists; the art has been practised by at least four generations of artists in his family, including his grandfather and his children. Jagdish has inherited nearly 300 blocks from his ancestors. The art continues to flourish through at least 50 artists, including many from his father's generation. He has participated in various government-run workshops and fairs within India. He has exhibited his works in Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya in Bhopal and cities such as Mysore and Raipur; his works have been bought by art lovers in India and abroad. This is Jagdish's second collaboration with Tara Books, after The Great Race. His next book with Tara is Brer Rabbit Retold. The Kondra Brothers -- K. Gangadhar and K. Narasaiah -- from Andhra Pradesh belong to a family of traditional wooden block-making artists. They were initiated into this art by their uncle when they were teenagers; after nearly 35 years now they, along with their team, continue to make intricate blocks at their workshop in Machilipatnam, Andhra. In 2002, the brothers jointly received the National Award from the Ministry of Textiles for craftsmanship in Wooden Block Making. They have exhibited their works in India and in the UAE, Mexico and Australia. K. Dakshina Murthy is a National Award-winning hand block-printing artist hailing from Nellore in Andhra Pradesh. An expert with nearly 45 years of experience in this art, he has worked in various places in South India, including the government's Weavers Service Centres in Vijayawada and Chennai. In addition to exhibitions and demonstrations within India, he has also showcased his works in Thailand. The artist received the National Award from the Ministry of Textiles for developing a new variety of saree using traditional methods. He currently resides with his family in Chennai.