April 30, 2011

Sujani Embroidery from Bihar

 This was the best kind of impulse buy--Fiona Wright posted a snapshot of this piece, and I was instantly smitten. Although she had already packed it for her visit to Australia, she was kind enough to set it aside upon her arrival, and due to the magic of Paypal and the post office, it's now mine.
 From the tag: "Swani Embroidery from Bihar. This work is produced by a woman's co-operative. The work is lively and naive and tell stories relevant to the women's lives, daily chores, healthcare, education-especially for girls, marriage and the Gods are some of the most common themes."  You can see more examples on Fiona's website here.
 I think this is a particularly fine piece, both in its composition and workmanship. The majority of the stitching is done in a simple running stitch, but the way the stitcher employed it is masterful.  I use a lot a echo stitching in my work, and am in awe of how effectively the curves and the color changes are handled here.  I also love the subject matter, which I'm assuming deals with a Tree of Life legend.
It was meant as a cushion cover, but I've taken it apart and will be having the embroidery panel framed--it deserves a good presentation.  This is my second piece of stitched Indian  artwork bought from Fiona; I wrote previously about this Sirali Santal Khatwa piece that now hangs in my kitchen and brings me pleasure each day.  (A standard disclaimer--I have no vested interest in Fiona's enterprises, I'm just an appreciative customer.)
My upcoming trip to India will be at the opposite end of the country from Fiona's location, but I believe in dreaming big, so perhaps someday I'll get to go meet some of the artisans who are producing this wonderful work....

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