Exhibition to promote Shola craft tradition of Bengal
Kolkata: The Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Kolkata, has taken an initiative to revive Shola craft tradition of Bengal.
Shola (Aeschynomene aspera) is a milky white, delicate spongy plant found in the marshlands of Bengal.
The pith of the reeds of the plant is used to make items of decoration. There are about 7,000 people associated with Shola craft across Alipurduar, Coochbehar, Dakshin, Dinajpur, Malda, Murshidabad, Nadia, Birbhum and Bardhaman.
The exhibition titled Green Ivory is an attempt to showcase the variations that the craft offers and create a platform for discussing how the craft can be promoted and taken forward. The varieties of unexplored ritualistic, decorative and contemporary products of Shola will be showcased during the exhibition.
It is also an opportunity to interact with about 30 Shola artists coming from various parts of Bengal. We welcome students and art lovers to join the workshop. The exhibition will be inaugurated at The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) on July 17 at 5pm and will continue till July 19. An website — www. sholacraft.com—will be shortly launched.There will be workshop for students and a panel discussion on opportunities and innovations related to Shola craft tradition.
After coming to power in 2011, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took special measures to revive the old and traditional art forms in Bengal. The craftsmen are given training and exhibitions are being held where they can sell their products.
Shola is eco friendly and there are many shola artisans in South India as it is found in the Western ghat mountains and Nilgiri hills. Models made of shola have gained appreciation globally. Room decoration and images of gods made of Shola are very popular. The shola craftsmanship is no longer confined to the community any more.