MINIATURE PAINTING, WOODBLOCK PRINTING & THE DIWALI FESTIVAL IN RAJASTHAN (11 - 20 OCTOBER, 2018)

Immerse yourself in the life and culture of Jaipur, the Pink City. Learn from master craftsmen, the rich traditions of Miniature Painting, Woodblock and Mud Printing.

 

DELHI | CITY OF THE DJINNS

Welcome to Delhi, City of Djinns, India’s capital and home to 25 million people. This is a city that bridges two different worlds. There is the mystery, mayhem and magic of the Old Delhi, a labyrinth of narrow lanes lined with rambling havelis (traditional villas) and formidable mosques. In contrast, New Delhi, created by the British Raj, is composed of spacious tree-lined avenues and imposing government buildings. This 'modern' Delhi is a chaotic tapestry of medieval fortifications, Mughal mausoleums, dusty bazaars, colonial-era town planning and mega malls. Like modern-day Rome, India’s capital is littered with the relics of lost empires.  

JAIPUR | THE PINK CITY

Rajasthan’s beautiful Pink City, Jaipur, is a flamboyant mix of colour, chaos and a heady brew of old and new. Amidst camels, rickshaws and colourful bazaars, exists another world of fairy-tale grandeur and a rich reminder of a historic past. Known as the Pink City because of the colour of the stone used in its architecture, Jaipur is steeped in history and culture. 

This fascinating walled-city with its romantic charm, bustling bazaars, magnificent forts, lavish palaces, opulent interiors and tranquil gardens, transports you back to the era of the Mughal Empire.

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TRADITIONAL ARTS IN INDIA

The history of Indian art and handicrafts dates back almost 5000 years with its traditions growing around religious values, the needs of the common people and the ruling elite. With the arrival of the Indo-Europeans (or Aryans) around 1500 BC came new artistic ideas and the conversion to Buddhism resulted in a renaissance of creative activity. Major influencers on the evolution of art, include the conquests of Alexander the Great, foreign and domestic trade routes opened via the Silk Road and the arrival of Islamic conquerors.  During this time, complex patterning derived from Arabic and Iranian models and small Iranian-style miniature painting became popular. 

THE HISTORY OF MINIATURE PAINTING IN INDIA

Painting in India can be traced back to the Ajanta caves from the second century BC to the fifth century AD. Initially, miniature paintings were done on palm leaves and later on paper.

The Golden Era of Indian art, from early 16th to the 19th century, during the Mughal Empire, was a period when miniature painting flourished.

The Rajasthan School of miniature painting started in the 16th century, where the principal centres of this art form were Udiapur, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Bikaner. The paintings give an insight into the life of the royals and the common man, the beauty of their womenfolk and the inspirations and devotions of the artists themselves. 

WOOD BLOCK PRINTING

Wood Block printing is a traditional stamping technique still used in the fashion industry today. An image is carved into a block of wood to create a stamp. The block is then coated with ink and pressed onto fabric to create an appealing handmade look that is both beautiful and timeless.

Indian textiles whether woven, embroidered, painted or dyed in a myriad of colours, have been celebrated in literature and poetry, extolled by travellers and traded across the world for centuries.

Block printing can be traced back to the ancient days of several nations, such as China, Egypt, Assyria, and of course, India. Handcrafted fabrics were a significant part of each of these cultures and all used a variety of techniques to create beautiful, intricate surface design. Block printing is most deeply embedded in the Indian culture, where it is such an art form that even the stamps are beautiful, intricately carved sculptures.

MUD PRINTING IN BAGRU

In a village about 30 km from Jaipur, the community has been practising a form of hand block printing for about 350 years. Dabu is a mud-resist hand-block printing process involving the use of natural dyes and vegetable pastes.  Dabu is a form of resist printing where the design is block printed with a mix of natural gum and sawdust. The mud-resist is applied to the fabric using wood blocks. To quickly dry the paste, sawdust is applied to places where the mud-resist is printed. This is followed by dying the fabric, after which, it is thoroughly washed to remove the mud. The finished effect looks a little like batik.

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