In a defiant dance of colour and thread, ten renowned artists breathe new life into the endangered art of Kashmiri Pashmina. Launching on December 23nd, 2023 till February 28th, 2024 “The Grand Pashmina Ehsaas,” their online exhibition.
Changing the image of the artists from the Jholadharis in the 80’s to redefining fashion today, bringing with it a sense of royalty – these eminent artists move a step forward in making a mark for the new age India. They carry the strength of tradition and culture on their shoulders as the finest artists of India light the flame to be lightened.
They bring the traditional art of Pashmina artistry to the forefront and highlight the need for the karigars and weavers to be brought to center stage. Going away from popular news when Kashmir has been in the headlines during terrorist activities, this important move of the painters emphasizes our pride in its cultural heritage and the roots of our country.
It brings into focus the Make in India ideology of our prime minister and the need for us to cater to the world, weaving the weft and warp of our historic cultural gravitas.
Luminaries like Prof. Niren Sengupta, Shridhar Iyer, and Niladri Paul, each a titan in their domain, along with Gagan Vij, Priyendra Shukla, Vimmi Indra, Sonali Durga Chaudhari, Anki Bhutia, Durga Kainthola and Manisha Gawade herself, converge on this digital canvas, celebrating the exquisite craftsmanship and rich heritage of Kashmiri Pashmina.
On the occasion, Manisha shares her emotions, “I am glad to be able to bring together ten maestros as they reiterate their belief in the rich elegance of the timeless Pashmina. ‘The Grand Pashmina Ehsaas,’ an online exhibition, is a pioneering effort in saving the Pashmina from extinction. I urge one and all to prepare for this vibrant show which soon leaps off the screen, gracing physical canvas in the coming months. Let the artistry orchestrate awareness. I urge all to join the chorus to preserve this silken symphony for generations to come. These beautiful works of art deserve to be passed on as heirlooms for all our future generations to come. We all have to wake up before it’s too late.”
Ehsaas, born in 2012 from the vision of Manisha Gawade along with sister, late Dr. Alka Raghuvanshi has empowered countless artists and artisans. From dance and music to painting, weaving and sculpting, Ehsaas has united diverse disciplines, providing a platform for their talent to flourish. Notably, Ehsaas spearheaded the first-ever wearable art installation, aptly named “Ehsaas,” solidifying its position as a champion of artistic innovation.
Pashmina, the “soft gold” of textiles, boasts a lineage as rich as its texture. Derived from the fleece of Changthangi goats, native to the harsh environs of Ladakh, pashmina reflects the resilience of both nature and craftsmanship. Its history, intricately woven like its fabric, dates back to the 15th century, when Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin introduced the art of pashmina embroidery to Kashmir. This legacy flourished under the Mughals, solidifying pashmina’s position as a coveted symbol of luxury and cultural heritage.
In intricate stitches and swirling patterns, Kashmiri Pashmina, lauded by UNESCO, whispers a vibrant history of cultural dialogues that have enriched the region’s artistic landscape. The Silk Roads, those ancient arteries of commerce, left an indelible mark on Kashmiri art, evident in the evolution of pashmina designs and motifs.
“The Grand Pashmina Ehsaas” is a celebration of cultural heritage, a testament to artistic resilience, and a call to action to safeguard the future of Kashmiri pashmina.