Artist Profiles

Artist:

Hemangini Rathore

Region:

South and Central Asia

Country:

India

Media/General:

Textile apparel

Year(s) Attended:

Santa Fe: 2019

About:

In Hindi, the word Sudarshan means beautiful, and in the ancient district of Jaipur, India, Sudarshan is also the name of a thriving artist collective, which was founded by expert textile artisan Hemangini Singh with a goal of preserving and promoting traditional folk textiles. Singh collaborates with skilled craftsman to create a collection of handmade textiles, scarves, and accessories. Her aesthetic reflects a gorgeous melding of traditional craft techniques with contemporary styling. The ever-evolving collection presents a diversity of approaches, using block-printing, handloom, and folk embroidery styles.

Traditionally a hub for fine textiles, Jaipur’s hand-block printing methods arch back for generations, with some methods dating to the 1700s. Sudarshan’s artisans work alone or with another’s help, depending on the difficulty of the project. Some scarves are richly colored in indigo, first by drawing a design, then folding repeatedly to create a range of colors—from soft cerulean to deep, inky blues. After dyeing the folds, rinsed and dried stitches are opened to display unique designs. Other items produced include warm, quilted jackets and other luxurious wearables.

Sudarshan’s artisans specialize in printing, dyeing, and weaving traditional motifs. Some textiles incorporate floral and animal motifs—all representing the region’s wildlife. Political issues in Kashmir endangered this craft for generations, but Sudarshan’s artisans now hope to develop safe workshops with adequate production facilities to help sustain this artform in a lasting way.