The onset of summers brings to cultural calendars a much-awaited spirit of festivities, and one such celebration of the season will cheer the quintessential Punjabi bonhomie at the Capital. As Concept 1469 and cultural theorist and art historian Dr. Alka Pande present the “Mela Phulkari Edition II”, get ready to let loose your hair, flaunt that decorative parandhi and guzzle down frothing glasses of lassi. The festival, which will be held from April 1-8, 2015, at the Open Palm Court, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi takes off from the success of its first edition last year. It brings to the Capital, apart from the intricate and ubiquitous tradition of Phulkari, the heartland and spirit of Punjab through the colours, stories, history, traditions and craftsmanship of the state.
This year, the art of Phulkari , known for its ‘flower’ technique and an unmatchable emotion running through every seam, will flow through the metaphorical energy of the state’s five rivers. The festival’s theme is the Convergence of these five facets, each exhibit bringing together the geographical and cultural diversity and richness on one platform. Taking an old story and contemporising it to suit the aesthetic sensibilities of urban India, ‘Mela Phulkari’ is more than a project; it draws inspiration from the past to recreate a future for artistic expression.
Last year, the Capital saw the traditional Panjabi home ethos manifest at India Habitat Centre, complete with the ‘veda’, courtyard, ‘manji’, bed, baghs, scrolls, stoles and shirts. The second edition refines the concept further. Ideated and put together by a multi-faceted group of 1469 along with artists and designers from across the country, art installations will welcome the visitors with their visually dynamic stories. The fest is also proud to feature works of designers from Pearl Academy Delhi, NIIFT Mohali, NIFT Delhi, Punjab-based artists and potters from Auroville.
Apart from the exhibition, one will find products on sale such as artefacts, clothes, decorative items, accessories such as parandhis and, most importantly, Phulkari in all its glory. A ramp show of phulkari products made by concept 1469 will add to the spunk. There will also be cultural Trinjan, wherein women vocal artistes from Punjab will sing the famous “Suhaag de Geet”. There is also the performance by Jasbir Jassi and by other punjabi singers.
“Mela Phulkari is a cultural construct, which includes not just the living tradition of Punjab, but goes beyond the art of making, of craft and art. It encompasses the philosophy of life, myths , legends and allegories, of the dreams and aspirations particularly of the women of this agriculturally fertile land” says Alka Pande ( curator of the exhibition ).
Harinder Singh, creative head behind 1469, says, “Like the five rivers of Punjab are converging with each other, so are the distinct facets of Mela Phulkari Edition II. The notion of “Converging” is rooted not only in the region’s landscape but also in the anatomy of the culture, making the mere idea much more robust.”
When: April 1-8, 2015
Where: Open Palm Court, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi