In order to raise the social significance of 'yarn weaving', Delhi-based artists Rahul Chaudhary and Pankaj Saroj have embarked on a journey to highlight the relevance of dying weaving traditions of India.
Titled 'Yarn Yatra', the four-month-long project will see them cover around 13,000 kilometres through the Eastern and Western coasts of India.
The project, which has been developed under the aegis of the Raj Art Initiative (TRAI), a cultural initiative by Panipat-based Raj Group, celebrates the lives of numerous weavers who work tirelessly to keep the traditions of weavingalive in India.
"Through this project we want to create awareness about the importance of the craft of weaving not just amongst our weavers since they look it more as a job and not craft, but also people.
"When people witness such pieces of craft in public, their interest to know about the process of weaving and the hard work the weavers put in, creates a sense of inspiration and pride amongst the weavers' community," says Shailin Smith, Curatorial Director of The Raj Art Initiative.
The artists have already covered the western part of the country like Jabalpur, Bhopal, Ujjain, Baroda, Ahmedabad and Mumbai and are currently on the tour of the east coast, hoping to cover Lucknow, Bhadohi, Varanasi, Kolkata, Bolpur, Guwahatiand Majuli, the last river island of Asia and hub of Assamese weaving.
One of the major stops for the artists will be tea stalls at various venues.
"We chose the Western and Eastern lines because most of the weavers migrate from these two belts to sustain as weavers in states like Jaipur and Panipat. The life-line of weavers is the tea stall outside the factories they work in. It is where they socialize, meet and discuss their daily life," says Smith.
During their journey, the artist will "Yarn-bomb" public spots and create art installations to attract people.
According to the artists, the project carries a cathartic drive which will pave the way for bringing in a better understanding of art.
"Our culture in its own traditional way is embedded with various intangible memories that somehow have been abandoned for lack of their discovery. Through this project, these memories will be aroused in the lives and minds of all those who will witness and interact with the project.
"The rural as well urban spaces are being influenced by the western cultures and due to that there is a sense of ignorance about our own weaving traditions which is a legacy. Certainly the future of our authentic craft lies in the extension of this legacy which seems to be forgotten," says Rahul Chaudhary.