‘Indian Threads: textile inspirations’ is on show at the Ruthin Craft Centre in Wales until 27 January 2019. This exhibition features new textile works by six women—the culmination of a residency exchange project between artists and artisans based in Wales and India.
In November 2017, Julia Griffiths Jones, Laura Thomas and Louise Tucker spent three weeks in Kachchh, Gujarat where they were hosted by Khamir, a local craft-development organisation near Bhuj. Then in September 2018, Rajiben M. Vankar and Champa Siju took part in a study trip based at Carmarthen School of Art. The Welsh artist Eleri Mills also presents new works which came about as a result of a separate Indian residency at the Sanskriti Foundation in Delhi.
The project was co-ordinated by Ceri Jones, co-founder of Fieldwork—an arts production company in Cardiff that supports independent artists and new initiatives. It was funded by the British Council, Arts Council of Wales and Wales Arts International in 2017 as part of the UK India Season of Culture, marking 70 years since the Partition of India.
The British artists were inspired by the phenomenal skill base of the Indian women, while they in turn felt liberated by the Welsh art-school studio environment, visiting the sea and being encouraged to explore creative self-expression for the first time.