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Times of India: Designers from India’s Villages

Times of India
by Garima Sharma

A Delhi-based NGO’s residency programme for rural artistes is helping them create contemporary products using Indian crafts –

At a time when the world is endorsing desi chic as their design mantra, Indian artistes too are striving hard to take Indian craft beyond wall hangings and drawing-room furnishings. And by conceptualising a month-long residency programme for rural Indian artistes, a Delhi-based NGO is helping them to do just that. Medhavi Gandhi of the Happy Hands Foundation has been working on creating artiste-oriented platforms for a few years now, and her latest is an initiative named The People’s Project Studio – which is a platform to help rural artistes tap contemporary markets, while also innovating on their craft.

The studio is currently running a 25-day residency programme for four artistes at Saidulajab, where they are being exposed to ideas of design, pricing and packaging. At the end of the residency, the products that the artistes create will be put on sale. Says Gitanjali Kumar, who’s working with the artistes, “Lack of relevant exposure results in the craft of these artistes getting endangered. Through this residency, we intend to introduce them to various ideas, and we’re also having designers, design students as well as other mentors work with them. In turn, these artistes take weekend classes too, where the general public can learn their craft. We have four artistes – Radha Sullur, who specializes in Karanataka’s Chittara art, D Padma for Andhra Pradesh’s Cherial art, Heera Devi for Bihar’s Madhubani art, and Sebati Swain for Orissa’s Soara tribal painting. People can come and attend weekend classes with them for a nominal fee.”

Currently, the artistes are creating many innovative products including apparel, accessories, games, home decor items, and stationery, and by helping them price the products well for the young consumer, the NGO hopes to be able to make them self sufficient in the long run.

Read the original article here.



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