Event: Exploration and Experimentation – Nineteenth-Century Photography of India 


Event date: Thursday 14 September, 6pm

SADACC (South Asian Decorative Arts & Crafts Collection) in Norwich, UK, invites you to an evening talk by Divia Patel, Curator, Asia Department, V&A.

Photography was introduced to India in the 1840s by European enthusiasts keen to experiment with this new technology abroad. During the following decades the development of the medium in the region was driven by war, commerce, political ambition and the pursuit of artistic excellence. In 1852 Dr John McCosh took the first photographs of Burma and just over a decade later Samuel Bourne captured the summit of the Manuring pass in the Himalayas. Using the V&A archives, this illustrated lecture will explore these and other fascinating stories behind some of the most important photographs of the region.

Divia Patel is Senior Curator for the Asian Department of the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), London. Divia is well known for her research on photography and film in India, and also for working with textiles and fashion, including her work for the recent Fabric of India exhibition at the V&A.

This is a free event and refreshments will be provided.

Please RSVP by Friday 8 September to info@sadacc.co.uk, or phone 01603 663890.

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Events: Tales from the Road – Searching for the Vernacular Furniture of Rajasthan

Event date: Wednesday 28 June 2017, 6pm

SADACC (South Asian Decorative Arts & Crafts Collection) in Norwich has been collaborating with the Design Innovation and Craft Resource Center (DICRC), CEPT University, Ahmedabad, on the first ever survey of the vernacular furniture in Rajasthan. In this event, Ben Cartwright, Collection Curator for SADACC and Mansi Sathyanarayan, Project Team Leader, DICRC, CEPT University, will share their fieldwork experiences, their tales from the road in Rajasthan.

The fieldwork team have travelled to villages, towns and cities in a state that is over two and a half times the size of England. They have been invited into the homes of Rajasthani royalty and Adivasi farmers alike, walked through fields and deserts, and met with carpenters, potters and local mudwork makers. Wherever they have gone, they have been invited across the threshold to look at pieces of vernacular furniture and to chat about the lifestyles they enable – a study of vernacular furniture is very much a study of the people who use it. Every object contains the story of a craftsman, an individual or family, the community and the landscape.

Rajasthan, the state of kings, deserts, painted havelis and walled cities is famous for its textiles, music, landscape and architecture. But it is also home to an incredible variety of traditional furniture. There are public benches that have given their name to the debates village elders hold on them, chests with elaborate locking mechanisms shrouded in secrecy and handed down by the head of the house at the point of death, intricately painted pieces from palace collections through to the crude wooden mattress stands and mudwork grain stores found in poor rural homes.

It has been the job of the fieldwork team to try and discover these stories. Next week, they will be sharing their experiences – what it was like to stay with royalty in Shekhawati or visit the outlands close to Banswara. Join us for a behind the scenes introduction to the Vernacular Furniture of N.W. India project.

Entry is free and refreshments will be provided.

To find out more about SADACC, visit their website.

Please RSVP by Friday 23 June to info@sadacc.co.uk, or phone 01603 663890.

News: SADACC Trust Project – India and Pakistan Remembered

sadacc-india-and-pakistan-remembered

The SADACC Trust (based in Norwich, UK) is seeking participants to be interviewed for the India and Pakistan Remembered 2017 project.

To coincide with the 70th anniversary of India and Pakistan’s independence, the SADACC Trust is embarking on an exciting oral history project. We will be interviewing people who have lived in India or Pakistan, or whose relatives lived there in the past.

We want to hear about your memories or family stories of life in India and Pakistan (whether recent or centuries ago). In particular, we are interested in learning about objects, heirlooms or keepsakes from the subcontinent that are still attached to, or seem to contain these memories. In discovering how objects help to relate people to events in the past, we hope to better understand what memories the objects in The South Asia Collection might evoke in visitors to the museum.

The India and Pakistan Remembered 2017 project will create an archive of recorded interviews about people’s memories (whether their own or stories they have inherited) of life in India and Pakistan. The interviews will also contribute to an exhibition – ‘India and Pakistan Remembered’ – and accompanying publications.

If you are interested or would like more information, please contact our Collection Curator Ben Cartwright at info@sadacc.co.uk or phone 01603 663890.

Participants are encouraged to bring objects (or photographs of those objects) which evoke stories of life in either India or Pakistan to interview sessions. We hope to explore how these objects spark memories of certain people, places and events in the past.

By agreeing to be involved, you will be a unique voice contributing to a better understanding of the history of India and Pakistan through lived experiences.

Please circulate this message to anyone you feel would be interested in being interviewed.

Event: Book Launch – The Cloth of the Mother Goddess

SADACC - Cloth of the Mother Goddess

Event date: Thursday 14 April, 6pm

The Cloth of the Mother Goddess by Jagdish Chitara is a limited-edition artists’ book consisting of a sequence of folding panels, designed to invoke pre-modern – and particularly Asian – traditions of bookmaking. It has been made by hand from block-printed cloth panels. Each book is a work of art, which recreates a ritual Indian textile art form known as Mata-Ni-Pachedi.

The book’s editor, Arun Wolf, is giving a talk next week at SADACC (South Asian Decorative Arts & Crafts Collection) in Norwich. He will be talking about the traditions and processes behind the book, alongside a short film that provides a glimpse into the artist Jagdish Chitara’s work.

Entry is free and refreshments will be provided.

To order the book online, visit the publisher’s website: Tara Books.

To find out more about SADACC, visit their website.

Please RSVP by Friday 8 April to info@sadacc.co.uk, or phone 01603 663890.

Textile Tidbits: SADACC’s Object of the Month – Patchwork Snakes and Ladders

SADACC - Snakes and Ladders textile

It’s now a little late in the month, but there’s been quite a deluge of wonderful textile material for the blog recently, and I wanted to share SADACC’s wonderful object of the month with you before it’s too late. (Some of you may have seen this already if you subscribe to the SADACC newsletter – apologies for reposting if so.)

Sap sidi (snakes and ladders) is a popular game in Jain, Hindu and Muslim cultures. Snakes and Ladders originated in India, possibly as early as the second century BC. Early versions were known as Moksha-Patamu (heaven and hell) and the game works on the principle of good versus evil.

Cloth games have been made since the Mogul era and are often included in a girl’s dowry. The board is a miniature patchwork quilt of vegetable-dyed fabric. It was made by female artisans in Kutch, Gujarat. These women are descendants of a nomadic tribe from Nagar Parkar, in the Sindh region of Pakistan. Elderly women typically turn to patchwork from embroidery when their eyesight begins to fade.

For more information, visit the website of the South Asian Decorative Arts & Crafts Collection (SADACC), Norwich.

Textile Tidbits: Textile Identification Challenge

Today’s textile tidbit is a little bit different. I’ve been contacted by Amy Chang, Collection Curator at SADACC (South Asian Decorative Arts & Crafts Collection Trust) in Norwich, who wondered if any of our members or blog readers might be able to help identify this textile.

Can you help identify this textile?

Can you help identify this textile?

 She says: ‘The textile belongs to a visitor whose grandmother was the first to own it in their family. It is roughly one metre square, and is decorated all over with metal thread embroidery and fine chain stitch.

We are not sure whether it is indeed Asian in origin, but her grandparents had spent time in India, and the embroidery stitches are similar to those seen on other items in our collection. However the colours and motifs are not familiar to us. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Detail of the centre

Detail of the centre

If you have any suggestions as to the origins of this textile, or if you’ve seen one like it before, please leave a comment on this blog post (below) or email Amy directly at info@sadacc.co.uk. Thank you!

Detail of stitching

Detail of stitching and metal thread work

I’m hopeful that together we can help to identify this textile! I’m looking forward to hearing your ideas.

Exhibition: Cloth – A Journey Through South Asian Textiles

SADACC Trust - Cloth, A Journey Through South Asian Textiles

Exhibition dates: from 11 September 2015

Inspired by the upcoming major exhibition ‘The Fabric of India’ at the V&A, this new exhibition at the Old Skating Rink Gallery showcases the rich textile collection managed by the South Asian Decorative Arts and Crafts Collection (SADACC) Trust, alongside contemporary collage creations in the Art1821 Gallery.

A preview of both exhibitions will be held at the Old Skating Rink Gallery in Norwich on Thursday 10th September, from 4–8pm.

For more information, visit the website of the SADACC Trust.