Experimenting with nakshi kantha

Cultural Correspondent | Published: 17:56, Mar 04,2018


Ark of Lightness, an experimental art based on kantha stitch.

Renowned Italian artist Nicola Strippoli Tarshito is displaying nakshi kantha, a type of embroidered quilt, of different designs at a solo show underway at Edge Gallery in Dhanmondi.

The artist has been experimenting with different traditional art forms of the Indian subcontinent for well over a decade now. He has already earned a name for his experimental embroidery works, done in association with a number of Jessore-based embroidery artistes, which were displayed at exhibitions in 2015 and 2016, respectively, at Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts and Nalinikanta Bhattashali Gallery of Bangladesh National Museum.

The artist’s ongoing solo titled ‘The Red Thread of Bangladesh’ at Edge Gallery in Dhanmondi displays 41 works.

The displayed works at the show have been made by Tarshito, in collaboration with Jessore-based artist Totini Saha and artisans’ organisation Chhonya Hosto Shilpo.

Led by Totini Saha, a team of 15 nakshi kantha weavers of Jessore-based Chhonya Hosto Shilpo embroidered the quilts on which Tarshito made his acrylic, mixed media works.

Besides depicting folk motifs and figures, Tarshito has painted real and imaginary maps of different countries and places on the quilts.

The shapes of the maps painted by Tarshito resemble both human and animal figures like fish, turtle, tiger and others.

In the work titled ‘One Only Land, One Only Humanity’ the artist has depicted a unified world through threads of different colours embroidered on a map of the world. The threads represent different continents and people from different parts of the world.

The artist has also painted maps of different regions and cities of Bangladesh including Dhaka, Chittagong and Jessore.

Tarshito has depicted forests and manmade structures in his displayed works like Ark of Abundance, Ark of Lightness, Ark of Fortitude and Ark of Tolerance.

The exhibition will remain open till March 9.

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