The British Council has launched a Warli Exhibition to celebrate India Craft Week 2021 and to showcase unique collaborations in Craft between India and the UK. The exhibit contains rare paintings of the creative genius Jivya Soma Mashe, the pioneer who popularized Warli art, nationally and internationally.
British Council has joined hands with Crafts Village to bring Chapter Three of India Craft Week as a knowledge partner to celebrate the finest craftsmanship that binds art, design, and culture. The exhibition is for public display until 21st February at the British Council Gallery in New Delhi, from 11 am to 7 pm.
The Warli Art exhibit is an India/UK collaboration between The Clay Foundation and Warli Artists showcasing Warli art’s evolution and critical partnerships in Craft. The exhibition’s launch was honoured by the presence of Shri Arjun Munda Minister of Tribal Affairs, Govt of India, Alex Ellis, British High Commissioner to the Republic of India and Barbara Wickham OBE, Director, British Council India.
The Warli exhibit’s content draws from a collection of paintings, artworks and documentation materials commissioned and collected through the Warli Project by A Fine Line between 2006-2021. Recognising the significance of Jivya Soma Mashe as the vibrant force of the contemporary movement, the exhibition also includes works by other artists who are part of the story and highlights the need for sustained institutional support and investment to keep the traditional art form alive.
Jonathan Kennedy, Director – Arts India British Council said “India’s crafts, arts and culture is its DNA, global competitive advantage and driver of wealth creation in the formal and informal economy. The crafts economy includes tens of millions of craftworkers producing astonishing work of quality in rural communities and the metros in India. Through British Council’s Crafting Futures programme, we have been instrumental in bringing together major Indian and UK partners to co-develop and collaborate on projects which strengthen livelihoods and skills in crafts in India. The programme addresses key themes that are critical to the Indian market and UNSECO SDGs.”
He added: “We understand that this is a difficult time for the craft sector. Nevertheless, we firmly believe that culture connects us and at this time of the COVID-19 pandemic creativity and collaboration binds us together. We have partnered with the India Craft Week to reach out across digital frontiers and national boundaries in solidarity with the many inspiring craftworkers of India and beyond.”
The upcoming events at the India Craft Week showcase some exciting collaborations in craft between India and the UK. Said Kennedy, “We are delighted to be showcasing a leading Warli exhibition, Indigo Giant with JV Productions and discussion with leading UK institutions including the V&A and Whitworth Gallery at the British Council in Delhi and online. Through partnerships like these we’re able to build networks between both countries and explore common areas of interest to work together especially around environmental sustainability, women’s empowerment, and crafts tourism.”
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