Rogan art’s connect during COVID-19

Jabbar Arab Khatri shares how the household that practices the 300-year-old Rogan artwork have been motivating themselves and connecting digitally during the pandemic

The months between July and September carry rains to Nirona village of the Kutch area in Gujarat. Along with the monsoon come hordes of faculty college students desirous to expertise, via craft workshops, a slice of the traditional Rogan artwork of material printing. The pandemic has made the village go silent, with no college students or researchers. When a centuries-old custom of hand portray on material, Rogan artwork — practised by the Khatris — affected, members struggled to remain motivated., managing to remain linked digitally. The Khatris are the surviving custodians of the artwork kind. During the primary part of lockdown, the Khatris collaborated with India Craft Week, Delhi and Paramparik Karigaar Mumbai showcasing their assortment in on-line exhibitions.

Jabbar Arab Khatri, nephew of Padma Shri awardee Abdul Gafoor Khatri, and one of many younger torchbearers of the artwork says, “The dyes take time to dry during the monsoon, so we are indoors working with designs.” He is pleased with the web initiative. “Although there were no sales, we had many enquiries for our products and workshops; some of them have promised to get back once normalcy returns,” he says.

A phrase of Persian origin, Rogan means oil. Jabbar explains the material printing course of: “Castor oil is heated and cast into cold water and the thick residue is then mixed with natural colours. Then, using a stylus or blocks, this resultant paint is meticulously transferred on to a cloth to make floral, animal (peacock) and geometric patterns. The weather and density of the mix play an important role. Colours and freehand motifs look attractive.”

In the previous few weeks, Jabbar has made a couple of Rogan artwork wall items on the masks for COVID-19. One of the sketches was given by Mubarka Nandarbarwala, an National Institute of Fashion and Interior Designing, Mumbai (NIIFD) pupil after his Instagram session. He shares, “Since students couldn’t come here for workshops, it was a nice opportunity to present our historic art to them,” NIIFD trainer Rosie Bose calls it an effort to introduce totally different artwork practices to the scholars. “Executing Rogan art by learning online is tough but once they are exposed to the crafts component, maybe later, we can take these students to Nirona for a workshop. Since they have already been introduced to the art, learning directly from these artisans will be a fascinating experience. Budding fashion designers could bring fresh ideas and help in sustaining the art and make it relevant in the fashion industry.”

Masks with Rogan artwork

Rogan artwork that’s generally seen on ghagra-cholis, bridal trousseau, bedsheets and tablecloths are already part of the style trade. One of the posts on roganart_official on Instagram showcases the art’s up to date avatar.

Designer Vanshika Gupta

Delhi-based designer Vanshika Gupta is at the moment engaged on incorporating Rogan artwork and in addition Soof embroidery in her designs. Her masks with Rogan artwork have been launched two months in the past. With a love for Rogan that started in her school days, she visited Nirona two years in the past and created her commencement assortment based mostly on these crafts.“It is probably the most distinctive hand-painted type. I learnt the craft from Abdul Gafoor bhai (Abdul Gafoor Khatri) and Jabbar bhai (Jabbar Khatri). The crafting technique of this textile artwork seems advanced however is superb. The handmade freestyle drawings have imperfections however the magnificence lies in these summary strains. Its quirky prints can solely be accomplished on cotton or silk.” Currently, Vanshika has 10 girls from Nirona engaged on her new assortment.

Nirona’s vacationer season begins mid-September, the interval previous Dasara and Deepavali, the key festivals earlier than winter sees vacationers flock to the village. As cities slowly chill out restrictions, artisans look forward with hope. Adds Jabbar, “I heard that the Rann Utsav might happen in the first week of November. If the pandemic ends by then, we can hope to slowly regain our lives.”

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