‘Meet the Artist’ session on nature-culture relationship

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‘Meet the Artist’ session on nature-culture relationship

Monday, 13 January 2020 | SHYAMHARI CHAKRA | BHUBANESWAR

Continuing with its monthly ‘Meet the Artist’ series, city-based Jatin Das Centre of Art (JDCA), founded by New Delhi-based eminent Odia artist Jatin Das, presented Odisha’s young and acclaimed textiles designer and researcher Pankaja Sethi in its premises here on Saturday.

Pankaja, who worked with tribal women and weavers for over ten years,  studied textile designing from National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi and did masters in Social Anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London besides bagging a number of Fellowships from prestigious institutions including the Ministry of Culture.

Her presentation covered the cultural context of rare indigenous textiles traditions of Odisha like the bark cloth of Gadaba, Kapdaganda of Dongria Kondh and Kotpad Pata by Panika community.

Pankaja lucidly explained how nature played the pivotal role in shaping up of the tribal culture and its textiles tradition. She later elaborated two case studies of Panika community’s indigenous weaving tradition – one from Kotpad in Koraput district of Odisha and the other from the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh.

Her presentation further highlighted the fast vanishing unique creation of Kerang cloth pattern crafted by Gadaba tribal women and the Kapdagonda shawls that carry various stories about the community and its culture. She also screened a film that showed the process of dying and weaving by the communities.

The talk and screening were followed by a question-answer session in which former diplomat Lalit Mansingh, musician Shantanu Mohapatra, actress Nandita Das and many others participated. Among others, noted linguist Debi Prasanna Patnaik, former Ambassador Abasar Beuria, social worker Nivedita Scudder, filmmaker Lipika Singh Darai and JDCA vice chairperson Siddharth Das were present.

“Meet the Artist is an illustrated lecture series that was launched in September 2001. We meet in the evening of every second Saturday of the month for the past 18 years. The presentations are made on the visual arts by traditional and contemporary artists, crafts persons, scholars and cultural professionals,” informed Jatin Das.

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