Husain's work leave art lovers `floored`

New Delhi: The soft contours of Mumtaz Jahan`s face, the colourful shades of the chrysanthemum, the sharp strokes depicting a bejewelled tribal woman, no, these aren`t brush strokes on canvas, but art captured on carpets!

An initiative by People for Animals (PFA), Kingfisher and Sunil Sethi, President of Fashion Design Council of India, the exhibition, titled "Fly A Carpet to Your Wall," features select art works by renowned Indian artists SH Raza, MF Husain among others as hand woven designer carpets.

"Every year PFA puts together a new and interesting art event. This time we have translated works by India`s top painters and designers into a spectacular collection of carpets which are on offer from as little as Rs 35,000. The idea is to make the art not just enjoyable but affordable as well," said Maneka Gandhi who heads PFA.

The proceeds from the sale of these carpets will go to building two new animal hospitals, one in New Delhi and another in Mysore. Presently the PFA operates a total of 26 animal hospitals and shelters in the country.

PFA organises such annual events and is known for its out-of-the-box ideas. Past PFA fundraisers include a centenay exhibition of Raja Ravi Verma oleographs, a collection of T-shirts by all of India`s top designers, an exhibition of 10,000 antique tiles among others.

"We approached various artists and designers for this novel concept and they were very forthcoming. With each carpet comes the painter/designer`s letter of authentication," points out Gandhi.

Sunil Sethi`s two decades long expertise in the field of carpet-weaving is clearly evident in the finest details woven into the tapestries. The Lifetime Achievement awardee for his contribution to the textile industry, awarded by the Government of India and the Ministry of Textile, was assisted by Garima Jain for the project.

"I call the project `Floored by Art.` The artists have given us their designs and we have worked with master weavers on carpets that can also be hung on the walls. It is for the first time something of this sort has been attempted on this large a scale," said Sethi who is also the Vice Chairman All India Handloom Board.

"When Mrs Gandhi came up with this idea, I immediately chose to be a part of it because, one, I was excited to work with youngsters in the field. Secondly, I got to work with big artists whose works I wanted to own but didn`t have the resources to do so. But atleast seeing it woven into my work
gave me a lot of satisfaction. And thirdly, the good cause the
funds are used for," said Sethi.

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