Beyond Blocks

Art history/ Historiography, Craft, Handloom, Art, Innovation, Contemporization

Beyond Blocks

Kaul, Mayank Mansingh

Issue #007, Winter, 2021                                                                       ISSN: 2581- 9410 For most people, the idea of hand-block printing in India evokes familiar images of colourful shrubs and meandering creepers. We have come to associate these with distinct schools of printing in the subcontinent. In recent years, this has to a large extent been dominated by, on the one hand the aesthetics of classical Mughal art-referenced motifs from Rajasthan and Gujarat; to some extent the geometric patterns of Ajrakh in Kutch; and on the other, the varied repertories of sacred and secular designs from the Kalamkari traditions of the Deccan and the south. Largely catering to the needs of apparel and home furnishings, Indian block printed has also informed the emergence of contemporary brands and companies which cater widely to the domestic and international markets. Seen largely for their role in producing functional products, the works we see here represent artistic practises which have attempted to use the medium and processes of block printing to emerge new forms beyond these. In doing so, they have found the need to extend the very definitions of block printing to embrace multitude meanings and employment of techniques in their making. As part of contemporary expression in textiles, they convey the diverse ways in which generations of artists, designers and textile makers have engaged with the medium. These works as well as the practises of their makers, may be seen as contributing to the shaping of new forms and ae...
This is a preview. To access all the essays on the Global InCH Journal a modest subscription cost is being levied to cover costs of hosting, editing, peer reviewing etc. To subscribe, Click Here.