A huge square ground lined with stalls from different states of India, each displaying a unique folk art form reflected in various everyday items: clothes, cushion covers, shoes, candlestands, paintings and lots of furniture and light fixtures.
One of the most amazing parts of a fair like this is meeting artisans who are creating new things everyday and keeping their art forms alive.
We were stunned at the variety of things available for the house and decided to pick on one, and share some of the most striking light fixtures we caught sight of.
PAPER LANTERNS (Pondicherry)
One of the things that stood out to us, was the massive paper lanterns of Auroville and Pondicherry. Made of coloured, textured paper and shaped with wire into large spheres and cubes, these could give a beautiful, low, coloured light to a room.
LAUKI LAMPS (Chhattisgarh)
Who would have thought that something like bottle gourd could be fashioned into something this beautiful! These lamps are made by hollowing out the huge gourd and letting them roast and cure in the sun. Then, fine designs are made by cutting the skin, which allows the light to shine through. Finished off with a polish to make it shine, a tiny bulb in the middle is all you need for a stunning conversation piece in the middle of your living room!
BASTAR CANDLESTANDS AND LAMPS (Chhattisgarh)
Cut to a completely different material – wrought iron. These bold, geometric designs typically feature animal motifs, trees and large-faced suns fashioned in various ways to form candle stands, lamps, lanterns and wall hangings. The large cube shaped ones were particularly eye-catching and we asked, “Can this be turned into a light?” we found a cheerful, elderly man telling us in Hindi, “Of course! If you like, put a candle here, if not, put a light bulb! So simple!”
RAJASTHANI MOSAIC LAMPS
These are tabletop lamps of different sizes, decorated with glass bits of different colours into a mosaic. Place it on a bedside table or at the centre of a coffee table or even hang it off a hook on the ceiling. With a bulb in the centre, this may be perfect for a little mood lighting in your cozy corner and with a candle in the centre, you can have a little coloured-light dance against your walls!
Like most things in India, it’s impossible to document every possible folk art form. We saw everything from the shadow puppetry from Andra Pradesh being incorporated into huge wall-to-ceiling lamps, to clay candle stands and balcony lights to Urmul (Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan) and crochet lampshades.
If you want to add an Indian touch to a room in your home, pick up something desi to place in a strategic place. Find a little touch from the state you belong to or visited recently and celebrate one of the most beautiful things in our country – the ability to tell vibrant stories through art.
And watch this space for more features on ethnic art to use in the home!
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