A Gujarat-based artist has explored various techniques of resist dyeing with the focus on the ‘Japanese art of Shibori’ in her latest exhibition in New Delhi. Titled, “The Art of Shibori” the exhibition by textile artist Neha Puri Dhir, is underway at Gallery Art Motif in New Delhi.
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The technique of shibori, which is one of the various forms of resist dyeing requires one to bind, stitch, fold, twist, or compress the cloth, and dye it to produce patterns on fabric.
The artist, who has studied numerous techniques of resist dyeing, says she is “deeply intrigued by the abstract nature of the process”.In the exhibition, she primarily focuses on stitch resist within the wide spectrum of resist dyeing, and expresses her creativity on exquisite fabric woven by the finest craftspersons across various craft clusters in the country.”The art involves intricate stitching, multiple levels of dyeing and discharging and finally unstitching.
“Once the arduous process is complete, the nuances of stitch resist are seen as subtle perforations and form an integral part of the artwork,” she explains. Dhir’s design philosophy has been deeply influenced by the Japanese aesthetic of ‘Wabi- Sabi’, which is reflective of a life centered on the “acceptance of transience and imperfection”.
The results that her work in resist dyeing produce are congruent to this philosophy, and are symbolic of similar processes like different phases of moon etc. The process involves multiple stages – after the thought or impression in the mind is ideated, the fabric is layered and folded in a distinctive fashion, followed by diverse stages of dyeing and resisting on the pre-conceptualised stitched patterns.
Also, the texture on the surface of the artwork is planned and prearranged, not only by deciding the thread count for the fabric surface but also by placing the design on the fabric at the resisting stage.
“The beauty of the process lies in crafting a creation, which begins its journey in its absolute contradiction, its polar opposite, its negative. “To add to this complexity of working in reverse, the art also requires planning a precise chemistry of colours, envisaging their interaction with each other and with the fabric itself,” says Dhir.
The uniqueness of the Shibori art lies in the fact that each artwork is one of a kind and cannot be replicated. “Each bears the mark of many hands it has passed through; from the spinners and weavers to the artist,” she says. The show is set to continue till December 17.