Above Flat drawings of the 'Peacock Sleeve' / Photo: Studio Bhatt
Below Exhibition view / Photo: Gwenn Smit / Courtesy of Zuiderzee Museum
Translation The English Writer
In traditional Dutch dress, loose articles of clothing, such as the kraplap (shoulder cloth), the baaf (chest cloth) and detachable jacket sleeves, were often made of chintz and designed for showing off. This symbolic function is echoed in India, where it is almost impossible to be overdressed.
Kirit Chitara and I produced hand-painted cloth from which I made loose sleeves as contemporary ‘showpieces’. Besides featuring graphics derived from T1982-163 Revisited, an earlier piece that we produced for the 'Chintz, Cotton in Bloom' exhibition at the Frisian Museum (NL), this work also employs a tree of life motif as well as animal illustrations, such as that of the peacock, the national bird of India and a show off par excellence.
In making this piece, we strove to create something that would be informed by the richness of both our cultures, and if the resulting work embodies layers that convey more than aesthetic beauty, then we really have something that merits showing off.