There is an exciting event happening this Sunday March 3rd 2013 from 1pm – 6pm at our studio! Artist and traveler Nika Feldman will be holding a trunk show and sale of textiles, jewellery, art fabric, and objects collected during her travels through India.
Nika has written about her travels and her work below (and included some amazing photos!) Read on to find out more about the trunk show, Nika, and her her inspiration as an artist and traveler.
I Am My Own Traveling Caravan
As a textile artist my interest is in people and the exploration of cultural identity through the language of clothing. I live a nomadic type of lifestyle, traveling to other countries and immersing myself within their communities. My intent being to learn other world views and to share a dialogue with the people, not through spoken word but through life and art. Each body of work of mine is designed to communicate with the people of which ever culture it is that I am living in. In this way, my work utilizes specific material and cultural references understood within each engaged community. Howeveras a result, like with all languages, a translation is many times found helpful once something isremoved from its origins.
And so this story I am sharing with you here is the translation of my most recent project: India.
Having always been drawn to the hand-embellished tribal clothing of Rajasthan and Gujarat, this wasthe region in which I focused my initial travels to India. However, upon arriving in the country forthe first time, my fascination was immediately drawn to the equally colorful and decorated trucks. And so my story develops along the lines of connecting these two worlds. The visual similarities are pretty straight forward, whereas the conceptual connections are that which I have spent the past while researching and enacting. Currently deemed a work-in-progress, I am now returning from India for the
fourth time. My project revolves around one tribal group in particular, the Banjara, whose origins were traditionally nomadic. They were known as the transporters of grains and salt, and their lives were spent traveling back and forth throughout the entire country. The Banjara had the unique status of not being taxed during travel and were allowed, what is referred to in the transit world today, an “All India Permit”. Just as the Indian trucks of the modern day are self-titled: Goods Carriers, so could be the professional description for the Banjara a couple hundred years back. And so it is, the common ground between the nomadic existence of traveling and the colorful and heavily decorated appearances, that I
bridge the gap between human and truck! Reflecting on this one will discover that in fact, each one of us are our own “Goods Carrier”.
And so it is, that I embodied this “Goods Carrier” notion during my travels in India by creating a unique costume for myself to live in. I created an identity that sought to communicate to others, through the textile language, that I was from my own “tribe”, a tribe that shared similarities with the Banjara. Utilizing traditional Indian textile techniques of block printing, natural resist / vegetable dyeing, embroidery, and garment construction I created a costume whose visual language was understood by the Banjara community, and with amused acknowledgement so it was that they welcomed me as one of their own into their lives.
All are welcome to join me for a one-day-only Trunk Show on Sunday, March 3 from 1pm -6 pm at the Contemporary Textile Studio Co-op, 401 Richmond St., Studio #109 (ground floor), behind the bookstore “Swipe”. On display for show & tell/sell will be my own textile work (referred to in the above story), as well as other treasures that I have collected throughout my travels such as: kantha quilts made from recycled cotton saris, tribal skirts and cholis, misc. mirror embroidered bits and silver tribal jewelry.
Please pass the word along to anyone that might be interested, it is a one time only event!!