Crafting Hands: Sheher

Sneha Sikand of Saffronart on a major mural project currently on display at the Lal Ded Cultural Centre in Kashmir

Srinagar: Eminent artists Nilima Sheikh and B.V. Suresh have collaborated with several master craftsmen from the Kashmir valley to put together a mural to be installed at the new terminal in Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai. The exhibit includes paintings on papier-mâché and carved sculpture in wood, along with examples of ‘khatamband’ and ‘pinjrakari’ panels and glazed terracotta tiles.

‘Khatamband’ is the art of constructing a ceiling by fitting small pieces of wood together in a geometrical pattern. It is all done by hand, without the use of any nails.

‘Pinjrakari’ is the making of doors, windows and ventilators by arranging small wooden pieces in geometric form to display their edges. Each creation is typically held together by the pressure each piece exerts on the other and by the frame of the panel.

Artist Nilima Sheikh’s recent works have focused a great deal on Kashmir, particularly drawing inspiration from the poetry of Kashmiri poet Agha Shahid Ali, which formed the core of her recent series titled “The Country Without A Post Office – Reading Agha Shahid Ali.”

This yet to be completed mural titled ‘Conjoining Lands’ is a 6,800 sq foot multimedia project which will eventually be installed at the Mumbai airport. The mural materialises several long standing traditions of artists and craftsman from the valley.

The exhibition will be inaugurated by Omar Abdullah, Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir on May 31, 2013, and will be on display till June 2, 2013.

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