Google Arts collaborated with Jaipur Virasat Foundation and created three online exhibitions. Below is a glimpse of the exhibits.
1900 – 2016
The exhibit explores the hand woven textile craft Panja Dari, examining the history of the textile tradition, its transformations in the 20th century and its position in modern India today. The design patterns, techniques of dyeing and weaving are analysed to highlight the variety, complexity, and adaptability of the handmade.
Textile & India
Fabrics are to South Asia what porcelain is to china. Cotton was first spun into thread in the subcontinent in the third millennium BC. The availability of natural resources such as dyes and fibers, coupled with diverse cultural patterns; interactions between indigenous tribes, traders, explorers, invaders, led to the development of varied and specialized textile skills with almost every region having its own textile specialty.
Tracing the origins of Dari Weaving in India
Transcending social boundaries, the dari was used by commoner and royalty alike: at its simplest it was a multi-purpose textile used as floor covering, bedding or packaging, while at its most elaborate it was woven with the finest fibers and enhanced by gold wrapped thread gracing the palaces of royalty.
There is a relation between daris with floral motifs and Mughal carpet designs. Carpets with scrolling vines and blossoms and no figural imagery date from the beginning of the 17th century Iran, and were called the Herat type. The Indian versions of these carpets, introduced in the Mughal courts were often simplified versions of herat designs.
Geometric daris served as outdoor floor coverings during religious festivals, gatherings or encampments; as indoor floor coverings in the month of spring and autumn when marble or tiled floors were too cold to be left bare and too warm to be covered by carpets.
Daris in the Modern World
As the Indian nation state grapples with substantial poverty the seriously underprivileged craftsmen still continue to work on traditional horizontal looms. These artisans struggle to make ends meet as they are undercut by powerlooms that provide tawdry replicas of their artwork. Moreover, modern India has hugely undervalued its craftsmanship for decades, whole communities of dari weavers have been deskilled, in many cases, hand-making has remained an exercise where human hands are merely put through mechanical motions of making with little imagination and creative liberty involved. However, with the liberalization of the Indian economy, and globally at a time when crafts have returned with a growing force to colour the theory of design, a positive trend has emerged in the country where entrepreneurs, designers artists are collaborating with traditional craftsmen to construct new traditions of craftsmanship within a fresh, contemporary framework. A craft technology dialogue is ensuing where technology does not simply replace the hand; rather, the two come together in a way that augments innovation and expression.
To see the complete exhibition visit: https://artsandculture.google.com/exhibit/flat-woven-rugs-of-india-past-continuous/KAJSlmbixCYTKA?fbclid=IwAR2CScfC5GyiCqnfMb-QdlRT2CZPakQFCSpGc6gLCVguk_I4qvhH2_GI-iQ