New Delhi: It was trip down the memory lane for Gursharan Kaur, wife of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who inaugurated an exclusive exhibition of `Phulkari`, the embroidery art of Punjab and Haryana here on Tuesday.
"I remember being with my grandmother in the moonlight working for Phulkari during my childhood", said Kaur while taking in the sights at the exhibition at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.
Phulkari a refined work practised in Punjab and Haryana where embroidery is done using a silk thread on a cotton base. Literally meaning floral the art is also known as Bagh, which means a garden.
This is more of emotional, social and of cultural value to a phulkari.
Owning a phulkari duppata or shawl is one of the prized possessions of a bride handmade by the mother or the mother-in-law for her. Also, ceremonial pieces are used in marriages, during birth of a child and during festive occasions. Phulkaris are known for their vibrant colours, geometric pattern and gaiety.
"We are organising this exhibition from April 17th to May 3rd. There are going to be various lectures on this topic on coming days. We are trying to give importance to Phulkari to be made it in a different genre as it is a unique work," said Dipali Khanna, member Secretary IGNCA.
According to Krishna Lal, who has curated the show there is a total of of 55 collections exhibited. Of these 51 collections are from the collections of IGNCA and 4 varieties have been sourced from a private individual`s collection.
The Phulkari products exhibited were made in the 19th and 20th centuries.
"Other types of work like `bagh`, `chalk` etc are also exhibited", said Lal.
The show is part of the silver jubilee celebration of the IGNCA. The Jansampada division of the centre undertakes research of the Indian cultural phenomenon in its totality and builds core collection of material and documentation on folk and tribal arts through multi-disciplinary approach.
The Ethnographic collection of the division explores, researches and documents creativity. Among the ritual objects, masks, puppets, musical instruments and textiles collected from various regions of the country is the Phulkari collection.