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Salt: The Great March Re-contextualizing Azrakh Traditions in Contemporary Art and Craft

by Shelly Jyoti

28 September- 20 October-2013

Exhibition Hall, 11, Mansingh Road, New Delhi - 110001

Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi


Exhibition & Lecture Schedule 28th September - 20th October 2013 Exhibition Hall, 11, Mansingh Road Indira Gandhi National Centre of the Arts New Delhi-110 001, (India)

Lecture: walking the Gandhi Way by Johny ML Re-Building: A sense of nationalism Artist Talk by Shelly Jyoti 9th October 2013 11:30 am - 2:30 pm Venue: Lecture Hall 11, Mansingh Road Indira Gandhi National Centre of the Arts New Delhi-110 001 (India) 011-23388016 www.ignca.nic.in

Shelly Jyoti Salt: The Great March, Section of Modern Spinning Wheel, 42X31, Azrakh Printing, Dying and needle work on Khadi Fabric, 2013

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CONTENTS

8-9

Installations

11

Artist Statement

12-55

Artists Plates

56-57

Artist Biography Shelly Jyoti

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Acknowledgments

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Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) is a premier resource centre in the field of art and culture. Its charter is not only to document, preserve and disseminate knowledge about Indian arts but also to revitalize traditions in their contemporary context by building a dialogue between the traditional and contemporary art practices. The centre was established in the memory of Last Smt. Indira Gandhi and is visualized as a centre encompassing the study and experience of all arts, each form with its own integrity yet within a dimension of mutual interdependence and interrelation with nature, social structure and cosmology. The uniqueness of the IGNCA's approach to the arts lies in the fact that it does not segregate the folk and the classical, the oral and the written and the old and the modern. The IGNCA has completed twenty five years and is celebrating its silver jubilee by holding seminar, conferences and exhibitions on various dimensions of Indian arts and culture. The present exhibition – Salt: The Great March by Shelly Jyoti is being organized keeping this spirit in mind.

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Shelly Jyoti Salt:The Great March The Charkha 36X46 inches Hand spun yarns, Sanskrit Calligraphy on Khadi Fabric 2013

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‘I learnt from my illiterate but wise mother that all rights to be deserved and preserved came from duty well done. Thus, the very right to live accrues to us only when we do the duty of citizenship of the world. From this one fundamental statement, perhaps it is easy enough to define the duties of Man and of Woman and correlate every right to some corresponding duty to be first performed’ Mahatma Gandhi wrote to Julian Huxley, Director General, UNESCO (May 1947)

To draw from Parapolitics: Toward the City of Man, can modern societies become genuine moral communities? According to Gandhi, they can. Gandhi's vision of a Sarvodayan society is embryonic, but nonetheless engaging and stimulating explaining swadharma for individuals defining traditions and duties clearly. Parapolitics: Toward the City of Man by Raghavan Narasimhan Iyer

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Installation: The Threads of Swaraj 2013

Shelly Jyoti Salt: The Great March site specific installation: Size variable 50000 threads from 50 attis spun in Dandi, Gujrat, Aluminum hose pipe 2013

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Installation: The March'Integrating Khadi 2013'

Shelly Jyoti Salt: The Great March Site specific installation: 30 meters of 8 ply Khadi, Hand Block printed with sanskrit calligraphy, 2013

The Dandi Salt March demonstrated its visual impact with similarly clothed individuals/protesters wearing Khadi. In protest of the British monopoly on production and sale of salt, Gandhi walked 240 miles from his ashram on the banks of the Sabarmati river near Ahmedabad, to the sea at Dandi. The march lasted almost a month, from the 12th of March to the 5th of April 1930. Many consider this moment the turning point in the anti-colonial cause, for a large part because of the power of the unified group of Khadi-clad people following Gandhi through this journey.

villages for the economic independence of the then predominantly agrarian society. It was expected to support the farmers who used to be debt-ridden and to make them self-reliant. This concept is relevant even today from a nationalistic perspective. Now modern industries and designers stepped in to take Khadi upwards on the higher scale of acceptability .The expansion of rural industry in Khadi production has not happened due to large scale industrialization in the textile sector with large scale automation and synthetic fibers.

This installation is inspired by 100,000 Khadi clad people who collected at Sabarmati Ashram to march to towards Dandi. The site specific also represents the Gandhian thought or developing Khadi across the

The artist Shelly Jyoti is also exploring if by wearing Khadi, the commitment to the act of wearing, by one and all, would rekindle the nationalistic feeling in the 21st century.

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Inspiration The Salt March, also known as the Salt Satyagraha, began with the Dandi March on March 12, 1930, and was an important part of the Indian independence movement. It was a direct action campaign of tax resistance and nonviolent protest against the British salt monopoly in colonial India, which triggered the wider Civil Disobedience Movement. This was the most significant, organized challenge to the British authority since the non-cooperation movement of 1920–22, and was directly followed by the Purna Swaraj declaration of independence by the Indian National Congress on January 26, 1930.

Site Specific Installation Shelly Jyoti Salt: The Great March Re-Building my Nation 2013 - with Sarvodaya and swadharma The installation 10ft high x8 feet wide will be created with lightweight materials, such as pipe cleaners fabric, plastic, wire and thread.

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Artist Statement My work as an artist is centered on historical and iconographic elements within a particular cultural context of Indian history. It draws upon India’s colonial past but is also engaged with contemporary economic exchange by means of collaborations with artisans and non-profit organizations. My present body of work ’Salt: The Great March 2013’, explores social activism propounded by the Gandhian philosophy of sarvodya and swadhrma. The salt becomes symbolic of Gandhi's renunciatory spirit, of cultural and moral values as instruments to create the better societies. I am investigating through my arts sarvodaya concept and its spirit to evolve just societies. Can swadharma become a movement for uplifting of societal values? What are the implications of involving art with an audience where corrupted and corroded human values crumble the foundational strength of the societies? I began my journey for the art project “Salt The Great March” by reading Mark Kurlansky’s book Salt : A World History (Penguin Books, 2003) and then proceeded with a deeper inquiry into Gandhi’s historical Salt March. At the same time, my translational research in Azrakh printing works on khadi and quilting on the same, became an extended exploration. I have been working with the 9th and 10th generation of Azrakh artisans in Bhuj since 2009. My aesthetic decisions regarding this particular textile printing and dyeing techniques are formed by a sense of responsibility as an artist to preserve these elaborate textile processes by converting the printing technique itself into an artwork. I hope to contribute towards the preservation of the Azrakh technique through my artwork and through exhibitions in galleries and museums. The wooden blocks used for my contemporary printed works dates back to about 200 years in design history and the dyes used are natural and eco-friendly. The design styles referenced in my work are Kankharak, Rialgad, Gurdakaleji, Bodyrial, Zimardi, Beediboota, Asopalav, Nipuri, Champakali, Pancho, Keribel and Mijidbel. To enhance this textile art, I have further used traditional needle craft techniques with Sujni and Nakshi Kanthas (running stitch needle work) stitches belonging to eastern India, which date back to the18th century and used primarily by Hindu women. The Three site specific installations, Integrating Khadi 2013 and Re-Building my Nation 2013 and Threads of Swaraj represent the Khadi sprit . I have used 30 meters of khadi fabric with block printed Sanskrit calligraphy depicting a sense of nationalism. ‘Re-building my nation 2013’ is constructed with chennile pipe cleaners, fabric and threads as a metaphoric representation of communities living harmoniously. ‘Salt: The Great March’ series is an extension of my previous project ‘Indigo Narratives’ (2009-13) which narrated the history of indigo as a plant colour and dye in reference to its sustained presence in the post-colonial identity of Indian history. My new works on Salt feature a large khadi fabric site specific installation, two sculptural installation with khadi yarns, chennile pipe cleaners and wires, twenty-five contemporary artworks on khadi as quilt samplers with traditional Azrak dyeing/ printing technique, and multimedia spoken poetry.

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ARTIST'S PLATES

Shelly Jyoti Salt: The Great March, Collage of Azrakh Art works, 2013 12


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Shelly Jyoti Salt:The Great March, Solidarity 3 60 X 53 inches Azrakh Design Reference: Gurdakaleji Azrakh Printing, Dying and needle work on Khadi Fabric, 2013

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Section of the art work of the left image


Shelly Jyoti Salt:The Great March, Solidarity 1 60 X 53 inches Azrakh Design Reference: Railgad Azrakh Printing and Dying on Khadi Fabric, 2013 16


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Section of the Image on the left


Shelly Jyoti Salt:The Great March, Textile Design 60X46 inches, Azrakh Design Reference: Musallah Minari (Border), Athas (Centre) Azrakh Dying Printing and needle work on Khadi Fabric, 2013 18


Section of the Image on the left

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Shelly Jyoti Salt:The Great March, Solidarity 2 60 X 53 inches, Azrakh Design Reference: Kankharak Azrakh Dying Printing and needle work on Khadi Fabric, 2013 20


Section of the Image on the left

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Shelly Jyoti Salt: The Great March Modern Spinning Wheel 42 X 31 inches Azrakh Design Reference: Riyal Azrakh Dying Printing and needle work on Khadi Fabric 2013 22


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Section of the Image on the left


Shelly Jyoti Salt: The Great March Modern Spinning Wheels 51X32 inches Azrakh Design Reference: Forstate Border, Azrakh Butto Azrakh Dying Printing and needle work on Khadi Fabric 2013 24


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Section of the Image on the left


Shelly Jyoti Salt: The Great March A Pyramid 51X34 inches Azrakh Design Reference: Athass Azrakh Dying Printing and needle work on Khadi Fabric 2013 26


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Section of the Image on the left


Shelly Jyoti Salt: The Great March Spring 46X33 inches Azrakh Design Reference: Riyal Gad Border, Azrakh Butto Azrakh Dying Printing and needle work on Khadi Fabric, 2013 28


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Section of the Image on the right


Shelly Jyoti Salt: The Great March Allow me to grow without fear 40 X32 inches Azrakh Design Reference: Apikalamkari Azrakh Dying Printing and needle work on Khadi Fabric 2013 30


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Section of the image on the left


Shelly Jyoti Salt: The Great March Azarkh Buttons 35X44 inches Azrakh Design Reference: Collage of Blocks Azrakh Dying Printing and needle work on Khadi Fabric, 2013

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Shelly Jyoti Salt: The Great March Solidarity 4, 16X53 inches Azrakh Design Reference: Bodyrial Azrakh Dying Printing and needle work on Khadi Fabric 2013

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Section of the Image on the left


Shelly Jyoti Salt:The Great March, Bouyancy 65x22, Azrakh Design Reference: Forstate Butto Azrakh Printing and Dying on Khadi Fabric, 2013 36


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Section of the Image on the left


Shelly Jyoti Salt: The Great March Greens, 65X22 inches Azrakh Design Reference: Athas Azrakh Azrakh Dying Printing and needle work on Khadi Fabric 2013 38


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Section of the Image on the left


Shelly Jyoti Salt: The Great March Collective, 75X22 inches Azrakh Design Reference: Athas Azrakh Azrakh Dying Printing and needle work on Khadi Fabric 2013 40


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Section of the Image on the left


Shelly Jyoti Salt: The Great March My Garden, 65X22 inches Azrakh Design Reference: Riyal Azrakh Dying Printing and needle work on Khadi Fabric 2013 42


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Section of the Image on the left


Shelly Jyoti Salt: The Great March Rhythm, 65X22 inches Azrakh Design Reference: Bodyrial Azrakh Dying Printing and needle work on Khadi Fabric 2013 44


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Sections of the Image on the left


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Shelly Jyoti Salt: The Great March 70X54 inches Azrakh Design Reference: Bodyrial Azrakh Azrakh Dying Printing and needle work on Khadi Fabric 2013

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Shelly Jyoti Salt: The Great March The Jewal 76X23 inches Azrakh Design Reference: Saed Border Wichuko Butto Azrakh Dying Printing and needle work on Khadi Fabric 2013

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Section of the Image on the left


Shelly Jyoti Salt: The Great March Aton 70X22.5 inches Azrakh Design Reference: Azrakh Cheda & Makh Butto Azrakh Dying Printing and needle work on Khadi Fabric 2013 50


Sections of the Image on the left

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Shelly Jyoti Salt: The Great March Atone 70X22.5 inches Azrakh Design Reference: Riyal Azrakh Dying Printing and needle work on Khadi Fabric, 2013

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Shelly Jyoti Salt: The Great March Atone 2, 70X22.5 inches Azrakh Design Reference: Said Border ( Mamad Saahi) Lehriya Azrakh Dying Printing and needle work on Khadi Fabric 2013

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Sections of the Image on the left


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Shelly Jyoti is a visual artist, fashion designer, poet and an independent curator whose work references in the cultural context of Indian history. She is trained as a fashion designer from National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi, and she earned her MA in English Literature from Punjab University, Chandigarh. Her recent shows include: Indigo: New works by Shelly Jyoti & Laura Kina–Gandhi Memorial Centre, Washington DC USA (forthcoming-Nov 2013); Chicago Cultural Centre Chicago IL, USA (2013); Diana Lowenstein Gallery Miami FL, USA (2011); ArtXchange Gallery Seattle WA, USA (2011); Nehru Centre, Worli, Mumbai (2010); Palm Court Gallery, India Habitat Centre New Delhi (2009); ABS RedEarth Art Gallery Baroda (2009);.”Women Imaging Women: The study of female portraiture”–The State Street Gallery Robert Morris University Chicago, USA (2009); “Beyond Mithila: Exploring the Decorative”– Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, USA (2008); Jamaat Art Gallery, Mumbai (2008); India Habitat Centre, New Delhi (2008/2009); and “Lyrical Abstraction: A Room of/for Muses”–Experimental Art Gallery - India Habitat Centre, New Delhi (2007); WelcomArt Gallery Baroda, Gujarat (2009). One of her Ajrakh textile work is a part of the TAPI museum (Textiles & Art of the People of India) in Surat, India. Her recent curatorial project “Traditional Indian Textiles” is a traveling exhibition of Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) for ASEAN countries. She was selected amongst 30 eminent women painters in Delhi by the Sahitya kala Parishad in 2013. She lives and works in Gurgaon and New Delhi, India www.shellyjyoti.com 57


Gallery Installations

Shelly Jyoti Salt:The Great March, Site Specific Installation: Solidarity 108 X108 inches 90 Azrakh Design References 2013 58


Shelly Jyoti Salt:The Great March, Installation shots at exhibition hall, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts New Delhi 2013

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Acknowledgements Member Secretary, Mrs Dipali Khanna IGNCA Dr. Mangalam Swaminathan, Programme Co-ordinator IGNCA Studio Pindrop, Haus Khas Enclave, New Delhi-For Audio recording Sejal Handicrafts, Baroda-For sanskrit block printing on Khadi fabric Mohammad Bhai Khatri, Bhuj Gujarat- Master craftsman Junaid Bhai Khatri, Bhuj, Gujarat-Mastercraftsman Sakobhai, Rafiqpandhi, Rahim Khatri, Razak, Bhuj, Gujarat Azrakh Artisans Rakesh Khandelwal, New Delhi -For construction and needle work Trident Exhibitions Pvt. Ltd. For Gallery installations 60

Syed Jawed Asghar For Documentary


Profile for shelly jyoti

SALT: THE GREAT MARCH by Shelly Jyoti  

Salt : The Great March Re-Contextualizing Azrakh Traditions in Contemporary Art and Craft By Shelly Jyoti

SALT: THE GREAT MARCH by Shelly Jyoti  

Salt : The Great March Re-Contextualizing Azrakh Traditions in Contemporary Art and Craft By Shelly Jyoti

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