Najibabad, my hometown in Bijnor district of Uttar Pradesh, has historically served as a hub of the shawl trade in North India for the past 250 years, and has been known as the country’s most important centre for the specialized repair of valuable antique Kashmir kani shawls. At one time a profitable industry in Kashmir, the weaving of these beautiful textiles with their tapestry techniques, complex designs and intricate colour combinations is in sharp decline today.
|Rafoogar demonstrating his craft, photo credit Priya Ravish Mehra|
|Untiled-Kantha fragments with paper pulp, 14.5 in x 17.5 in -2016|
|Untitled - Various thread with paper, 12 x 10 inches 2014|
|The invisble darning|
|Untitled- Indigo fabric with paper pulp 11 in x 8|
|Untitled- Indigo fabric with paper pulp 2, 11 in x 8|
|Untitled-Jute Fabric fragment with Daphne pulp,14 in x 21 in, 2016 (2)|
‘Personal Threads’ is
an endeavour to read our histories (both political and personal) as the
interconnected pieces of a quilt – each one’s individual threads sewn together
to form a larger picture. Telling our stories is a means to locate ourselves
and who we are within the folds of their narrative. And often, who we are and
what we do, emerges from the people, things and places that played some role in
our past. We may claim different nationalities and religions but the DNA of our
lives is complex and far from unconnected.