Manzil – an exhibition of traditional crafts and contemporary adaptations recently took place at Koel Gallery curated by Noor Jehan Bilgrami and Zarmeene Shah.
Manzil presented 13 collaborations between designers and craftspeople who engage in processes of continuance, revival, adaptation and interpretation in creating contemporary design objects that find themselves rooted in a diversity of traditional craft practices from the region.
Some of the crafts on display include
Farasi Weaving – Shaal Doch: The inspiration from the nomadic nature of the Baloochi tribesmen is shown through Farasi weaving which is a iconic symbol of the people of Chagi. It represents Shaal Doch in Baloochi.
Kundan Zewar: Kundan Zewar which is the oldest technique of jewelry making in the Sub-continent is shown here with special inspiration from Islamic cosmological elements including cresent, stars and the sun. Enveloping Islamic and other South Asian cultural traditions, the pieces evoke a contemporary cosmopolitan aesthetic in her work.
Naqaashi/Kamangari: The craft of Naqaashi, painting on buildings, wood and pottery is shown through an exhibit of a 200-old box with the original and ancient work of Naqaashi.
Copperware – Misgari: The craft of metal work is known as misgari. In Pakistan, Peshawar was the hub of these copper crafts, and was influenced by the craft techniques of from Afghanistan. The method of designing low relief is called Zarnishaan while high relief is Zarbuland and the cut-out method is called Aftaabi.
Lathe Ka Kaam: Showing Latto as a unique collectibel item, the traditional game was represented in a form of ancient art and design with its own sense of uniqueness and familiarity.
Stone Inlay – Parchin Kaari: The act of meticulous cutting and setting of stones into intricate and exquisite forms was synonymous with the act of painting in stone.
Khattati: Siyah Mashq is a style of Persian calligraphy through which the artists tries to draw a parallel between Rumi’s poetry and his own state of mind.
Sang Taraashi: Jungshahi stone, found near the Jungshahi station near Thatta is very soft when quarried and gradually hardens when iodized. Inspired by the stone monoliths at Sonda, Sindh, the artist uses simple geometrical patterns in a grid of 6 x 6 on 8 carved monoliths.
Phulkari: Phulkari is a type of traditional embroidery using specific motifs. The word Phulkari means ‘floral work’. Here Phulkari is reproduced as its traditional motif with its simplicity and purity.
Dabgari with Chitarkari: Lamps from camel skins is the skill of kumhar, dabgar, and Naqaash. The craft of camel skin lamps is highly appreciative in Pakistan and renowned worldwide.
Pattoli: Pattoli is basically thread work used in weaving of certain components of necklaces and other forms of jewelry. This beautiful thread-work tradition is depicted here by the artist.
Aari ka Kaam: In Balochistan, leather embroidery is the most sought after within the indigenous traditions. It is famous for its beautiful intricate designs and appealing colours.
Kashikari: Kashikari is a traditional craft of ceramics originating during the 10th century in Kashan, Iran. The term Kashikari is used for glazed terracotta production that included painted vessel forms and architectural ceramics.