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Art with a touch of swadharma

Art with a touch of swadharma
Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts has organised an exhibition based on Gandhi’s philosophies perfectly called Salt: The Great March.

The on-going exhibition displays work of artist Shelly Jyoti. The works draw inspiration from Gandhi’s philosophy of swadharma and sarvodaya. ‘Salt is symbolic of Gandhi’s renunciatory spirit, of cultural and moral values as instruments to create better societies. I am investigating that art through sarvodaya concept,’ said Jyoti in an interview.

Her work includes sculptural installations of khadi yarn (aatis), twenty five contemporary artworks with Azrakh printing traditions, incorporating needle work on khadi fabric and multimedia spoken poetry.

Jyoti has also re-contextualise Azrakh dyeing traditions. This technique is a traditional form of printing in Gujarat. ‘The whole idea is to preserve this dying art form and to make these artisans financially strong,’ she added. Traditional needlecraft techniques such as sujniand nakshi kantha have also been used.

The exhibition also features an installation titled Integrating Khadi-2013, which has been made using 30m of Khadi and is printed with Sanskrit calligraphy. The installation represents the Gandhian thought of promoting Khadi across villages for the economic independence of the society. The other highlight of the show is a 10x8 ft installation titled Re-Building My Nation 2013. It is made of lightweight materials such as pipe cleaners, fabric, plastic, wire and threads as a metaphoric representation of communities living together in harmony. ‘This show is all about exploring the possibilities of establishing alternative societies where Gandhian ideals of swadharma and sarvodaya could be established through their sincere implementation,’ she said.
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