Patterns of a Tectile Score

Title: Patterns of a tactile score.
Curated by: Kanika Anand
Solo Exhibition at Exhibit320, Delhi 2018

Patterns of a tactile score is an iteration of the artist’s process-based research in the fine weaving technique of Jamdani. Comprising delicately woven textile forms, and drawings inspired by the weaver’s array of floral and geometric motifs, the show reflects the artist’s interest in pliable sculptural forms, and explores the dialectic of tension as language. My interests in history, community and material coincided in the craft of Jamdani weaving. Originating in Dhaka, and celebrated as one of the finest muslins ever produced, patronized by royalty and traded to various parts of the world, the now almost lost weaving technique finds a voice in my works.

In weaving, the basic structure of the woven material relies on a grid to materialize 1 . With threads intersecting at right angles, a system or matrix of grids is built to form a piece of cloth. This matrix resolves the physical and aesthetic in its form, corresponding respectively to material and ideology, and functioning at once as structure and as symbol. In sculptures, the matrix extends beyond the surface of the material to suggest the communal network of weavers that labours to produce it. Focused on the process, tactility and structural arrangement, the textile sculptures are rescued from the definition of object, emphasising instead an order antithetical to that of natural objects. Intrinsic to the history of textiles is the history of women and the feminist agenda for equality within a male dominated historical narrative. Subversively employed by feminists in the 1960s and 70s, fiber arts were a means by which women addressed issues of identity, social place and sexuality. With its obvious links to domesticity, textiles came to be asserted as a tool to interrogate ‘women’s work’, challenging stereotypes and reclaiming a position within ‘high art’. The gendered architecture of the medium underpins my works in a more subtle way, where it follows the schematic of the hand-made rather than of feminist politics.