Swati Kalsi and Shikargarh

Devi Art Foundation

Devi Art Foundation

Sujani commonly refers to the traditional layering and sewing together of old, worn fragments of cloth for soft wraps,quilts and mats. In Bihar, the word sujani implies the coming together of 'su' (facilitating) and 'jani' (birth). It invokes the feminine deity, Chithariya Mata (Lady of the Tatters) who embodies an ancient philosophical idea: all discrete things belong to one whole, to which all things eventually will return. The sujani finds its most eloquent expression, therefore, in the gossamer wraps sewn for newborns, and for their conception in the kobarghar, the nuptial chamber. In this interpretation, textile designer Swati Kalsi explores a shell-like form that alludes feminine aspects of birth, nurture, and protection intrinsic to the traditional craft. Collaborating with rural women in a temporary urban workshop, Kalsi attempts to portray these women who guard and nurture an intimate world like a protective shell, all the while weathering formidable external forces.

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  • Title: SHE LL
  • Creator: Swati Kalsi and Shikargarh, Swati Kalsi
  • Date: 2014
  • Location: New Delhi and Bihar
  • Physical Dimensions: Dimensions Variable
  • Type: Photograph
  • Method or Style: Cotton and metallic thread on silk

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