Karthika Audinet on “Two Great Textile Traditions of Southern India,” Part 2, The Material She Brought In
This is Part 2 of a Textile Museum Rug and Textile Appreciation Morning program given by Karthika Audinet
on Saturday, April 18, 2015. Karthika treated two traditions of fine craftsmanship of hand-loomed fabrics and hand-painted textiles from southern India.
She began with an illustrated lecture. You can enjoy it at this link: https://rjohnhowe.wordpress.com/2015/08/28/karthika-audinet-on-two-great-textile-traditions-of-southern-india-part-1-the-lecture/
I would advise you to do that if you have not.
Karthika had brought in a number of examples of Indian textiles. As you will see, not all of them are examples of the “fine cottons” and “kalamkaris” treated in her lecture.
They were arrayed on a table in the front of the room. We are going to see all these pieces, individually, and often close-up, but come and walk around the tables with me to get a hint of what’s to come.
OK. That’s for appetizers, now on with the meal.
Karthika began to treat these pieces individually. This is she speaking.
The first one was a Kalamkari piece done by Niranjan Jonnalagadda, a contemporary Kalamkari master craftsman. Niranjan’s grandfather’s work is exhibited in the V&A museum.
(numbers are not always sequential)(click images for larger versions)
Karthika: “I am wearing a dress made from a textile in this group.”
Niranjan loves to write poetry. He was painting this on silk chiffon fabric. Although it was incomplete, I found the red and black strikingly graphic. I bought it and converted it into this simple top.
Details of this top.
i21 is a silk temple sari with real gold zari. Offered to the goddess of a temple, these saris adorn the deity and are replaced frequently. Temples auction them off to devotees. This piece was bought by an old aunt of mine, who in turn gifted it to my mother.
i22 is a Kanchipuram silk sari from my Mother’s dowry. Woven in the 60s. It’s a lovely unusual combination of parrot green and salmon shot pink with very simple gold embellishment in the “pallav.”
(The pallav is the lose end of a sari. It is the culmination of the weaver’s artistry, some thing like the ‘peace de resistance’, that proclaims the character of a sari.)
Details of i22.
Another Kanchipuram Silk with gorgeous emerald green and navy, with the temple spire pattern on the borders in serrated lines, and stripes in the pallav.
My thanks to Karthika for this fine program, for permitting me to fashion this virtual version of it and for her considerable assistance, both as it was being built and as she edited it, after.
And a long-belated thanks to Frank Petty,
who has for years done a great deal of the set-up required for these Rug and Textile Appreciation Morning programs. (He also likely does the tear down after we’re gone. 🙂 )
One thing more. As I write this sentence, the S Street buildings that have been the Textiles Museum’s home until the move to the GWU campus, has sold for a very good price. Karthika’s program is one of the last Rug and Textile Appreciation Morning held here in these old TM buildings.
I walked around a few of its rooms today, seeing that it has been restored to a mode more like a residence. You could sense a trace of Mr. Myers and his family living here.
I hope you have enjoyed and learned from Karthika’s solidly-based program. She is another speaker who is not just a “talker,” but has performed some of the craft skills about which she spoke.
R. John Howe