SISTER & BROTHER - LAYERING MEMORIES - PART 1 - NEW DELHI - INDIA
I believe we meet certain people through life for a reason.
Priya Ravish Mehra was one of this encounter that should not have counted but with her bold personality, her survival path and the interest we share for textiles, became a friend and the catalyst of my own appeal - always perceived, never achieved - for India's valuable crafts.
A well respected textile specialist, Priya travel the world when health permit to give talks about Indian textiles and particularly "Rafoogari" the hereditary art of skilled darning by the rafoogar community in Najibabad. Mending, a metaphor between her artistic quest and her life story, fragmented by family memories, achievements and personal traumas.
The "Mending project" is a series of panels, made out of discarded pieces of cloths that Priya either mend, trap, dye or layers into fabrics or papers to express her personal path through life. "Mending my life, as a fragmented journey that i can now see as continuity in every thing I did and every thing that happened - The layered pieces of cloth are the shadows of the past and memories left of the journey where things either fade or remain."
"I do not search for excellence, doing this doesn't even have a meaning. I do it as a ritual."
Rough, dormant batch of banana and coconut fiber, pieces of cloth and indigo bark lie around her workshop waiting to be sacralized "I am not in a mental stay to acquire any thing in my life nor in a position to throw away things so i do not want to let go of the memories, embodied by this pieces of old sarees that I trap into layers of paper or mend into discarded pieces of cloth, reflecting as much my own detachment and attachment to things and my experience of the preciousness of life - It is as if every thing was coming together through this trapped memories, a ritual that has to do with life itself."
Priya will give a talk and show her work in Bhutan next week and Mexico & Guatemala in October. I will then join her in Gujarat mid December to research what remains of the "Ajrakh" block printing workshops she use to work with 30 years back.
The most fascinating things is for Priya's brother Tushar, who lives a mere 200 km away and hardly speaks to her, is also working on a similar project, felting and layering silk between fine layers of cashmere, exploring his own significance of life through experiences, traumas and joy.
An afternoon with Priya Ravish Mehra