Melbourne Museum invites you to Sutr Santati: Then. Now. Next. to explore stories of India woven in thread – now free with general entry. Celebrate 75 years since India’s birth as an independent nation in this showcase of 75 hand-woven textiles by contemporary Indian designers.
Sutr Santati: Then. Now. Next. unites the ancient and diverse textile traditions of India, produced by some of India’s most prominent artisans, craftspeople and designers. View the themes, techniques and materials used in the specially curated fabrics presented through the lens of innovation, reinforcing the value of fabric — an important legacy of Indian Independence — to define the country’s contemporary artistic landscape, and to push its creativity into the future.
Featured artisans and designers include Gaurav Gupta, the preeminent fashion designer who created the sculptural dress that became an internet sensation worn by rapper Cardi B at the most recent Grammy Awards. Keenly aware of and motivated by the harmful environmental effects of commercial waste, Gupta uses only Indian-made biodegradable plastic, as well as recycling all fabric scraps. His 2021 collection was created incorporating plastic waste recovered from landfill and oceans, a clear statement about the responsibility of industry to take care of the environment.
Gaurav Gupta’s piece on exhibit, titled Awakening, is a luxurious pashmina, silk and zari shawl incorporating traditional iconography of the 7 main chakras.
Sutr Santati translates to ‘continuity of thread’. It is a metaphor for the ongoing dialogues in Indian culture and society which shape its evolution and bridge the past with the future. It seeks to reconnect cultural practices with contemporary, innovative designers and celebrate the beauty, skill and significance of textile craft in India. The exhibition’s curatorial vision promotes ideals of organic and slow consumerism, in reflecting India’s identity, and the inherent collective, collaborative efforts required to push towards such goals.
On this path, the rural and urban, the historical and the contemporary, and above all, the local and the global, become one.
Sutr Santati: Then. Now. Next. is open at Melbourne Museum until 3 September. Entry to the exhibition is included with a Museum general admission ticket.