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India Craft Week opens its doors offline

Around 100 artisans from across the country will showcase 50 varied craft forms in the four-day exhibition

Only those artisans who have traditional lineage of practicing the art form, have been included at India Craft Week.
Only those artisans who have traditional lineage of practicing the art form, have been included at India Craft Week. (India Craft Week)

After a washout year, 100 artists from across the country have assembled under one roof to showcase their art in this year’s India Craft Week (ICW). In its third edition, the four-day exhibition, themed ‘Crafting Tomorrow’, starting from 18 February, showcases some 50 craft forms from across the country. Besides well-known craft forms like Gond, Phad, Sanjhi paper cutting, Pichhwai, leather puppets, rare ones including Himchal’s Chamba Rumal, calligraphy art on Pashmina from Kashmir and Bagru painting will also be on display. The event is organized by Craft Village in partnership with British Council, and will take place at British Council and Bikaner House in Delhi.

But it’s not just artisans, only those who come from families practicing the art form for generations have been picked, about eight luxury brands and designers, who work closely with artisans to produce sustainable and ethical products, are also taking part to pull in the crowd.

Considering the impact the pandemic has had on the livelihood of artisans, ICW curator Iti Tyagi believes that the exhibition will hopefully bring back interest in supporting them and keeping these craft forms alive. To ensure there is more engagement, ICW is arranging craft-based heritage walk in Delhi, where limited number of people, on all four days. The participants will explore parts of the city, which are associated or connected with a certain craft.

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Chamba Rumal from Himachal Pradesh, is one of the rare craft forms that will be showcased at the exhibition.
Chamba Rumal from Himachal Pradesh, is one of the rare craft forms that will be showcased at the exhibition. (India Craft Week)

“The crafts economy includes tens of millions of craft workers producing astonishing work of quality in rural communities and the metros in India. Through British Council’s Crafting Futures Programme we have been instrumental in bringing together major Indian and UK partners to co-develop and collaborate on projects which strengthen livelihoods and skills in crafts in India,” Jonathan Kennedy, director, arts, British Council India.

Apart from this, films on craft, workshops and book launches, include Tyagi’s book drawing from her 20 years of experience. The event will conclude with International Craft Awards, in which winners from over eight nations are intending to participate including the Queen of Indonesia.

Unlike previous years, the event is not charging any entry fee. “I don’t know how many people will turn up but we are doing our bit to lift the spirit of the artisans and promote their name. Also to ensure everyone is safe, we have requested visitors to book time slots to visit,” says Tyagi.

The India Craft Week is from 18 February at British Council and Bikaner House in Delhi, from 11am to 7pm. To book the time slot, head to https://insider.in/india-craft-week-february-2021/event.

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