by Zohra KhanOct 22, 2021
Do traditions have a place in the contemporary world? This is a question that I often ask myself and there is no right (or wrong) answer, I feel. Whatever we may believe in this context, it is imperative that customs and practices are altered to become relevant for the ‘now’. Artist Bappaditya Biswas and wife, Rumi Biswas, have painstakingly worked with jamdani weavers, training them and developing ideas for products that may be interesting to the present-day world. “The trigger for us to move in this direction was when we saw handlooms being dismantled and its wood being used to burn as fuel. That was the state of affairs with weavers just a few years back, owing to lack of opportunities and diminishing relevance for the products they made,” says Biswas.
We take a walk with him and Pramod Kumar HG, Curator, at their exhibition titled Weftscapes, reviving the traditions of jamdani textile and indigo dying at Serendipity Arts Festival (2019), Goa.
Jamdani is a fine muslin cloth on which decorative motifs are woven using a mixture of cotton and gold thread. This weaving tradition comes from the Bengal region in eastern India and Bangladesh.