By Divya Parikh, Project Manager

11 January 2021 - 13:00

Screenshot of Collaborations in Craft online
The Collaborations in Craft event online - watch here

Project manager, Divya Parikh, reviews the Collaborations in Craft event, part of our India Wales Digital Festival

The Collaborations in Craft event gave an insight into craft collaborations across borders including a screening of Edeifion - Threads, along with personal accounts from craft leaders and artisans from India and Wales. 

‘Threads’ took place during 2017 and 2018, focusing on the work of seven female artists. Three artists from Wales travelled to rural Gujarat in November 2017 for a three-week residency at Khamir - a centre for the creative industries of the Kachchh region. They shared studio time with local artisans, made field visits to some of the indigenous craft communities and took time to discover the historic town of Bhuj. Artisans from Kachchh travelled to Wales in 2018 to be hosted by Carmarthen School of Art for a two week residency and to visit Ruthin Craft Centre.

The Collaborations in Craft event was introduced by Jonathan Kennedy director of arts, India, British Council and chaired by Devika Purandare, head of arts, North India, British Council. During the session, the all-women panel highlighted the resilient and entrepreneurial nature of women and how collaborations develop these strengths.

Speakers included Ceri Jones, creative producer, curator and founding partner of arts organisation Fieldwork, Champaben Siju and Rajiben Vankar, weavers and artisan entrepreneurs from Avadhanagar, a village near Bhuj city, Kutch in Gujarat, India and Avni Sethi, an interdisciplinary practitioner who conceptualised and curated the Conflictorium, Museum of Conflict and Mehnat Manzil, Museum of Work in Ahmedabad. 

Ceri spoke of her experiences during the project Edeifion - Threads, in collaboration with Khamir, and their shared vision of enabling and empowering artists through this exchange of ideas and cultural practices. She introduced us to all the artists involved in the project: Rajiben Vankar, Laura Thomas, Zakiya Khatri, Louise Tucker, Eleri Mills, Champa Shiju and Julia Griffiths Jones, and their work through a montage of stunning images.

You can see a short video on Julia’s work, an amalgamation of all that she absorbed as part the project, here https://www.instagram.com/tv/CH437uIgnW3/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

During the event, Rajiben and Champa spoke about the life changing experience of coming to Wales, immersing themselves in the people, the culture, the art and connecting on similar values such as compassion for the arts and appreciation for each other’s work. 

Avni Sethi described how the project became a journey of self discovery for her and as the event drew to a close, many in the audience were deeply moved by the stories and inspired by the resilience and entrepreneurial spirit of these talented artists and makers.

You can watch the full event here https://fb.watch/1-qyuYpdjX/

Khamir and Fieldwork are coming together for a new project aimed at reviving and strengthening local economy around wool in Kutch region, Gujarat India as part of the British Council's Crafting Futures initiative. 

Photo of Divya Parikh, Project Manager

Divya Parikh

Project Manager