By Nina M
Carpets are known to adorn our feet; what if they could beautify our walls, too? ‘Floored by Art’, a unique carpet exposition pays tribute to the master carpet makers of India and India’s acclaimed artists.
The Sunil Sethi Design Alliance, New Delhi, presents a spectacular exhibition of handmade carpets that takes art beyond the canvas. The exhibit is on display at the Aguada Jail Complex, Sinquerim, till January 14, 2023.
The showcase includes the signature works of eminent contemporary Indian painters like SH Raza, MF Hussain, Ram Kumar, Sujata Bajaj reproduced on the canvas of carpets.
Each signature carpet carries a certificate of authentication from the artist.
BEHIND THE ART
Curator and President of the Fashion Design Council on India, Sunil Sethi, says, “These are limited-edition carpets. All the artists, except for Manjit Bawa, were alive at that time. Bawa’s daughter permitted us. Whether it was Sabavala, who lived in Mumbai or Ram Kumar in Delhi, Raza gave us permission, including MF Hussain, who was in London."
He adds that the history of the Aguad attracted him to the place, “Of course, when I started, I didn’t know Goan artists. Hence, you see the masters. I wanted to be a part of the Aguad history.”
Sethi has also been Vice Chairman of The All India Handloom Board, and a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement award (for his outstanding contribution to the carpet industry) by the Export Promotion Council under the Ministry of Textiles.
Owning a Hussain or Raza may be out of reach for most pockets, but a signature carpet carrying their replicas may bring you closer to the works of the greats. And, you can admire them on your wall; instead of the floor. “Many don’t want to keep expensive work because they don’t live here all the time. This is so affordable for them,” explains Sethi.
Sethi, who belongs to the carpet weaving industry, worked with seasoned weavers from North India, like UP, Panipat, Harayana, Jaipur.
Fine New Zealand wool was woven into a rich tapestry of bright colours and expressions of the country’s finest artists. The dimensions for most are 5 x 7 feet, except for Raza, which is 4 x 6 feet.
The concept started in 2008 for a Maneka Gandhi’s People For Animals (PFA) fund raiser. The proceeds would build animal shelters and hospitals under the organization. "We did one exhibition in Delhi, then the Prince of Wales Museum in Mumbai,” says Sethi. The show returns after a gap of 10 to 15 years and was last held in 2010.
The exhibition will be on show at the Aguada Jail Complex, Sinquerim, till January 14, 2023