In the long history of art, there has always existed a liminal space between fine arts and traditional crafts, which in contemporary times demand more attention than ever in order to contextualize craft in the larger milieu of its social history. This crossroad has been endeavoured by a few pathbreaking artists in the last century, and recent time is witnessing a rise in that number.
Dhi Artspace, in its current group exhibition, Crafting the Crossroad, endeavours to bring together the artists who have derived inspirations and ideas from the history, techniques and materials of different craft traditions and have incorporated them into the visual language they have developed over the years. The exhibition addresses the inevitable questions of identity, the mode of practice, artisanal knowledge and material history, raised in the process of making, assimilating and negotiating. While the show defies the discriminatory approach towards traditional crafts in respect of the creative possibilities of fine arts, it considers the need for a different theoretical approach to understand the complexities of the interface between the two.
The curatorial framework of the exhibition attempts to investigate the following questions: In which ways adapting craft traditions in their work has helped the artists reclaim/connect to their collective as well as individual identity? What sort of negotiations are made while deriving from craft techniques? How is craft recontextualised in the artist’s studio, travelling from an artisan’s workshop or a community workplace? Can retaining authorship as an individual artist be possible while incorporating traditional crafts?
Crafting the Crossroad is a collaboration to explore the transitory space between arts and crafts, innovations and traditions individualism and collective practices.