Bhubaneswar: Colourful motifs and patchwork symbolizing communal harmony on a wall hanging, by Puri’s applique craftsman Kabi Mohanty, at the ongoing Applique Crafts Exhibition in Odisha capital, make one ponder as to how art can reflect life in all its glory.
His is the only shop with diverse modern applique designs. “I have been doing this for the last 20 years with nil assistance. I started experimenting and, my customers were more drawn to these unique new designs. So, I delved deeper and tried working on patchwork, so as to send across a social message,” he said.
Chittaranjan Panda, hailing from Khurda, has bags from Rajasthan with patchwork designs. “A lot of women have been buying these,” he said.
Flaunting the in-demand Chidiya lamp, Sheikh Abdul Halim from Puri, said people from other countries prefer these. “We take a very thin base fabric and an umbrella frame. A cloth is then attached to it and decorated with motifs of birds drawn out of thicker fabric. It takes us around seven-eight days to ready one lamp,” he added.
Mesmerized by the beautiful work of Odisha artisan, Meenakshi Mani from Bangalore, said she has never come across such rich artwork. “I bought gifts for my family members from here, because they won’t get these anywhere else. These are exclusive and unique to Odisha,” she added.
Applique work on men and women clothing, umbrella, wall-hangings, lamps, mats, bedsheets, bags, vases, and pillow/cushion covers are on display at around 60 stalls from nine different districts of Odisha at the exhibition.
Organized by State Handloom and Handicrafts Department, it aims at promoting, reviving and popularizing the age-old crafts of Odisha’s Pipli. The exhibition will draw to a close on March 28.