Calendar Pages -- COLOURS OF NATURE, Kolkata, India,

February 15th, 2014 to February 24th, 2014

COLOURS OF NATURE, Kolkata, India,

             S U T R A  



An Event on Natural Dyes in association with Rabindranath Tagore Centre, ICCR, Kolkata                                        

The Marg Foundation is releasing its special issue, Colours of Nature: dyes from the Indian Subcontinent in Kolkata, India, in mid February, 2014.

                15th February to 24th February, 2014

  At Rabindranath Tagore Centre, Ho Chi Minh Sarani,  ICCR, Kolkata, India


  India's natural dye tradition has spanned several thousand years. When most of the world dressed in a few dull and drab colours, India's dye masters had perfected the art of using colorfast dyes in a palette of rainbow colours by the use of mordants, substances to fix dyes onto cloth, a tradition that had been passed on from generation to generation in India but with no written records. India indeed clothed most of the known world in brilliant hues of colours taken from nature. What an enormous tragedy, that in the 20th century the collective knowledge of generations of natural dye practitioners in India was wiped out with one blow with the advent of synthetic dyes. The production of synthetic dyes is often toxic to the environment, whereas most natural dyes do not pollute land or water. It is therefore of utmost importance that this age old Indian tradition is revived and passed on, with help of experts, from both India and abroad.

  The Thomas Wardle documents in Kolkata consist of more than three and a half thousand samples of cloth and threads dyed with India's indigenous dyes. They are bound into 15 hard-back volumes and are the only extant documentation of India's dyeing tradition in the whole world. Although these have been digitized, it is of utmost importance that proper conservation is done to preserve these priceless documents.

  SUTRA wishes to create awareness of this rich heritage and the need to revive the use of natural dyes and the need for proper conservation of our archival textiles, art and documents for posterity.
  The event will comprise of:
  Specialist Talks, Exhibitions, Demonstrations of Natural Dyes and hand crafted textile Traditions, Films, Educational  Forums and a Bazaar focusing on Natural Dyed textiles, Natural fibres and art.


       TALKS (15-17 February, 2014, morning sessions) by eminent scholars:
  —Dr Dominique Cardon - world authority on Natural Dyes (France)
  —Dr Jenny Balfour Paul - world authority on Indigo and guest editor for Marg's special issue on natural dyes. (UK)
  —Dr Brenda King - authority on Sir Thomas Wardle (UK)
  —Dr Mark Nesbitt - Economic Botany Section, Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew Gardens, London (UK)
  —Mrs Ruby Ghuznavi - scholar and practitioner of natural dyes, who has successfully revived natural dyes inBangladesh
      ( Bangladesh )
  —Ms Jasleen Dhamija - Authority on textiles (India)
  —Dr Bessie Cecil - textile researcher, conservator, artist, designer (India)
  —Mr Anupam Sah - Senior Conservator (India)
  —Ms Lynda Hillyer - Senior Textile Conservator (UK) And others.

     EXHIBITIONS (15-24 February, 2014)
  —Exhibition of Archival documents, textiles, paintings and other material from The Botanical Survey of India, Kolkata,  with a special emphasis on the 19th Century documentation of natural dyes by Sir Thomas Wardle, the textile swatches of Forbes Watson and the botanical paintings commissioned by William Roxburgh.
  —Exhibition of natural dye paintings on cloth by eminent Bengal artist Ajit Kumar Das
  —Exhibition of Archival textiles and revivals of Kalamkari paintings and contemporary works in natural dyes
     DEMONSTRATIONS (15-18 February 2014, afternoon sessions)
  —Demonstrations of various natural dyes, weaving and printing techniques such as Ajrakh, khadi, etc. (Details will be posted later)
     FILMS (15-18 February, morning or afternoon sessions)
  —Short films on natural dyes
     EDUCATIONAL FORUMS (15-18 February , late afternoons)
  —A number of forums are being planned on aspects of education on natural dyes and textile art conservation
(Details to be posted later).
     GRAND BAZAAR (15-18 February, 11am-7pm)
  —Some of the best of India's Hand crafted natural dye and natural fibre products will be available at the bazaar
(Details to be posted later).
  —Short trips to nearby weaving villages or other places of interest such as the Botanical Gardens Herbarium and
Museum can be arranged.


  For more information about Sutra programme 2014

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           (Subject to Change)