Temple art was the trademark of traditional Indian clothes and accessories for centuries. But the arrival of contemporary art has given Indian designers new metaphors for interpretations.
Two decades ago a group of artists including Manjit Bawa, MF Husain and J. Swaminathan painted contemporary prints on apparel in an one-off exposition in Mumbai.
Several sporadic attempts followed till a group of five artists put their heads together for a year to create the Ehsaas Project, an art-to-fashion transpose that has produced a collection of 20 saris, 12 bags, 25 ties and 25 stoles with digital fine art prints. A hand-painted range of accessories complements the clothes.
To be launched at the end of this month, the collection is a selection of abstract and figurative paintings by artists Alka Raghuvanshi, Niren Sen Gupta, Sanjoy Bhattacharya, Sridhar Iyer and Manisha Gawade that have been digitally printed on tussar silk from Bhagapur in Bihar and crepe textiles by Ekaya.
The range, curated by Alka Raghuvanshi, will be displayed in a ramp walk by dancers Swapna Sundari, Shobhana Narayaran, Sharon Lowen, Prathibha Prahlad to display the wearability and classic nature of the collection, the curator said.
'This is my second attempt to translate art into wearable fashion,' said Raghuvanshi. The saris are in vibrant shades of yellow, red, green and white with dark abstract and figurative silhouettes. A canvas of nudes painted with Salvador Dali's expressionistic motifs by artist Sanjoy Bhattacharya on a black silk sari draws the viewer with its stunning detail of human anatomy.
'Fashion has always been part of art. But look at the couture we have now — that's hardly the kind of thing people can connect to. Most people can hardly wear clothes designers make for the ramp...We should have a multi-disciplinary approach to art,' Raghuvanshi said.
Says artist Manisha Gawade: 'My works are in three series — Mindscapes, Constant Presence and Threads of life.' She paints abstract geometrical patterns in black and white with prints in bold 3-D images that assimilate from the traditional middle-Easternattires.
Revivalist designer Madhu Jain is celebrating her 25th year in the industry with a new edition of her textile Projeckt M. It features Raja Ravi Verma's paintings and the art of Kalamkari weaving from Andhra Pradesh. The project is a collaboration with actor-turned-textile activist Milind Soman. Art for arts' sake is passe. It's time now to vote in favour of a more practical and human art. [IANS]