An exhibition showcasing the heritage art and crafts of West Bengal has been organized. The exhibition titled Gods & Demons was made possible by the West Bengal government initiative Biswa Bangla and the Rural Craft and Culture Hubs, in collaboration with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and London’s Nehru Centre where it was held earlier this week.
“As a designer, I am passionate about the future of ‘making’ in a globalised world. We have only begun to scratch the surface of the potential of collaborating traditional skills with modern perception, and cross cultural engagement.
“My role at Biswa Bangla is this fascinating journey of discovery and reinterpretation of traditional craft skills by engaging with both designers and enthusiasts,” said Neishaa Gharat, ambassador for Biswa Bangla in the UK.
The exhibition attracted members of the British-Indian community as well as a mix of international craft patrons and a diverse audience from the art world. Participating artist Shankar Das transformed a single block of wood into a beautifully formed depiction of the Goddess Durga, while Suman Chitrakar performed traditional songs.
The artisans were also photographed against the backdrop of the Southbank Centre on the banks of the Thames in London as they carved and painted their works. “Biswa Bangla believes that there is a keen appreciation for Bengal arts and crafts in the modern global community and the collaboration between London and West Bengal can really help make a difference for the lives of artisans,” Gharat said.
After its tour of London, Biswa Bangla will take the exhibition to Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland. The Edinburgh Museum will host live demonstrations and workshops for the team before they move on to the Southside Fringe Festival in Glasgow, hosted by ArtVillage.