In the city of Ahmedabad, Western India, there are several migrant communities scattered across the city; many of these once considered to be untouchables under the Hindu ritual ranking. Traditionally, women from this community practised the craft of katab (appliqué), often making domestic household decorations such as quilts, torans (door hangings) and bed covers, from recycling waste fabrics from local tailors and garment manufacturers.
To make a regular income for their families, these women have been drawn into commercial work for clients including Fab-India, local design students, clothing boutiques and independent designers. However, the orders come via an agent who takes a large part of the profit and the women are allowed little, if any, creative voice within the production process. For many of the women, this exhibition is the first opportunity they have had to put their own name on the work they have made.
Led by textile artists/researchers LOkesh Ghai and Emma Sumner, Katab: Not Only Money is a project which aims to elevate the value of katab as a craft and honour the creativity of its artisans through commissions that allow them autonomy over the product design: a much-needed alternative to their mundane commercial work. o date, the project has worked with a small group of women to establish a sustainable model on which they can make their own designs for market, removing the need for agents and allowing them to earn an income which reflects the skill and dedication they have for their craft.
Created by women participating in the Katab project, the quilts on display have been inspired by iconic films (both Hollywood and Bollywood) and Hindi TV series.
FREE launch event: Thursday 14th September 2017, 6-8pm
Join us to celebrate the official launch of Katab with refreshments and live music from MCDC resident DJ Ailsa McLaggan of Living Room Dance Club