'Beyond Quilting' was part of a collaborative Project started by Edith Rijnja (Curator), Harald Schole (artist & Curator) & Rucha Kulkarni is an attempt to knowledge share through cross-cultural interactions and initiate the discussions around 'cultural appropriation from the perspective of contemporary designers' through the medium of Art of 'godhadhis' (Quilt-Making), practised in Maharashtra, India. They brought together 6 designers from India and the Netherlands to work with artisans on this project.
Women make a lot of purchasing decisions that decide the lifestyle and habits of a household and in turn of an entire family.
In this regard if we look at the holistic approach of sustainability we find that it isn’t an alien concept to a country such as ours. Our practices of purchasing seasonal vegetables for cooking (with regional cuisines being specific to what is available - that impacts our nutrition to combat the change of seasons) or the interaction with local vendors to purchase and custom make based on specific needs, we have consistently leaned towards making what is required based on availability). Our mothers and grandmothers enthusiasm to preserve pieces of clothing and Jewellery as heirloom are simply a nod towards the possibility of high quality products that are made to last and share, and for the ones that don’t pass that test they are still over utilized as rags for cleaning. In most cases we view the above practices as a given - ones that we have grown up with - almost not realizing how we practice it in subtle ways. As we view sustainability as an intrinsic part of our values to simply choose thoughtfully based on our resources we ensure a system that benefits us and people around us.
Our work with quilt culture - an organization run by a group of women to ensure better livelihood for their families based on the traditional local craft of godhadi was another reminder of the impact of women in society. We wanted to connect our existing work in zero waste practices with this collaboration to work with local practicing artisans to create a tactile language that is detailed and tells stories using fabric remnants. Our wish to keep up the tone of voice that talks about repurposing to find form and function has now found a new collaborator in the women we interact with at Quilt Culture. What started as an international research process titled Beyond Quilting that put the craft of godhadi making and its possibilities in the spotlight - translated simultaneously by 6 designers has now turned into a permanent connect between the women and us to develop their skill into a viable business for them to grow.