These pieces are not seen as a substitute for traditional textiles, but an addition to it, valued in a very different way, the pieces holding a place of pride in the hearts and minds of the artists. The artisans of Kutch first experimented with this more personal narrative form of embroidery for two exhibitions following the Indian earthquake of 2001. Since then this new artform has developed as the artists embarked on an extraordinary journey of self expression, gaining confidence and maturity.
Each cultural group invented a unique stylistic form, in which each artisan developed a personal style. Once they had a means to express, they found they had a lot to say. Themes vary widely – from ostensibly simple events like a wedding in the family to complex ideas like the settling down of a nomadic people. Much like a painter or a sculptor, each artist’s involvement with her work is complete and each piece is characterized by the artist’s own inimitable worldview.