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Exhibition of 34 paintings of Raja Ravi Varma on pallus of hand woven saris at Darbar Hall

40 women weavers complete it in two years time

Exhibition of 34 paintings of Raja Ravi Varma on pallus of hand woven saris at Darbar Hall

In a first of its kind exhibition in Vadodara, 34 landmark paintings of Raja Ravi Verma on pallus of saris woven in hand spun Khadi is on display at the iconic Darbar hall in majestic Laxmi Vilas Palace. 40 women from Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh involved in weaving the saris. It is to mention here that artisans are earlier into selling vegetables and other farm works and engaged in this art work to make a good living.

Gaurang Shah textile designer by profession along with curator Lavina Baldota (Abheraj Baldota Foundation) dreamt of this idea to give tribute to Mahatma Gandhi (Father of Nation) and Raja Ravi Verma (Father of Modern Indian Art). The task was to interpret landmark paintings from artist Raja Ravi Varma's work on to pallus of saris woven in hand spun khadi, translating the art into wearable canvases. Each sari taking between six months and two years to complete.

"We recreate 34 painting of Raja Ravi Verma on Khadi Sari Pallus using naturally dyed colours for the jamdani weaving. 600 shades and hues were developed to recreate the paintings and showcase them at the majestic Darbar Hall in Vadodara. The weaving was done in the villages of Chapara, Badam, Kodara and Karapalle of the Srikakulam District in Andhra Pradesh by 40 women artisans who were earlier involved in selling vegetables and farm work. After the training they woven the saris and also able to generate income from it," said Gaurang Shah.

The exhibition at Darbar Hall in majestic Laxmi Vilas Palace bring back the memories of first exhibition of Raja Ravi Verma's paintings more than 100 years ago. "First time 130 years ago Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad invited citizens of Vadodara to witness the paintings of Raja Ravi Verma. Now after so many years once again his image is seen at Darbar Hall with these creations.

We also display one of ours painting of Sita Bhoomi Pravesh beautifully interpretation by him. It took around 2 years for making some of the saris by women weavers not normally seen in this art. They get the opportunity to weave such beautiful saris with Jamdani techniques using Khadi, 150 count cotton, natural dyes. The cotton comes from West Bengal, Dyes from Kutch and weaving done in South which is like unification of different Cultures and states," Radhikaraje Gaekwad, Maharani of Baroda.

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