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Indian calligraphers recall Gandhi's messages for humanity


New Delhi: Blending handmade paper, calligraphic precision and one of India's most revered leaders, Mahatma Gandhi, an ongoing exhibition at the IGNCA here is exploring images, symbols, words and thoughts related to him.

Invoking Gandhi's push for a sustainable planet and sustainable livelihoods, the exhibition 'Gandhi Virasat: Kagazkala' features 11 Indian calligraphers who have done works on handmade paper crafted in different Indian states.

Gandhi's timeless message of 'Ahimsa' (non-violence), calligraphed as a burning flame, and a golden lettered 'Yoga' painted against a black background are some of the sights that capture the visitors' gaze.

"In an era where everyone is mesmerised by western brands and products, the exhibition hopes to show that our traditional crafts are not only endearing, but also sustainable and contemporary," said Ram Bahadur Rai, Chairman, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), during the show's opening.

In their respective inimitable styles and regional scripts, each artwork shows how handmade paper and calligraphy can enhance each other on beautifully textured canvases to convey Gandhi's valuable messages to humanity, organiser Dastkari Haat Samiti, which works with artisans and craftspeople, said in a statement.

"The exhibition hopes to encourage policy-makers, environmentalists, producers of hand-made paper, art and design students, architects and others to look closely at the beauty of our handmade paper-making traditions and be part of its survival and resurgence as a tribute to Mahatama Gandhi, our planet and age-old skills," said Jaya Jaitly, President, Dastkari Haat Samiti.

The participating artists are Qamar Dagar, Achyut Palav, Sarang Kulkarni, Shubhanand Jog, Kalpesh Gosavi, Nikheel Aphale, Rajeev Kumar, Parameshwar Raju, Narayan Bhattathiri, Jamyang Dorjee and Khursheed Alam.

The exhibition is part of the nationwide celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary. It will close on February 17.



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