Press Release




Re-contextualizing Azrakh Traditions in Contemporary Art and Craft by Shelly Jyoti


Indira Gandhi National Centre of Arts, New Delhi presents a solo exhibition of noted artist and textile designer, Shelly Jyoti. Titled ‘SALT: THE GREAT MARCH- Re-contextualizing Azrakh Traditions in Contemporary Art and Craft’ this exhibition features installations, Azrakh prints on khadi cloth, poetry and slide presentation. The show will be opened on 28th September 2013 at the IGNCA Gallery, 11 Man Singh Road by Dr.Karan Singh, MP and President of the ICCR at 5.30 pm. The show will be on view till 20th October 2013.

On 9th October artist, Shelly Jyoti will be presenting a paper titled, ‘Rebuilding: A Sense of Nationalism’, followed by a presentation by curator and critic, JohnyML on the topic, ‘Walking the Gandhi Way’.

Exploring salt as symbol of non-violence and investigating theory in practice of nonviolence, tolerance, peace, harmony through the narratives of swadeshi politics . The works will draw upon the history of India’s colonial past and Mahatma Gandhi’s 1930 Dandi March, which began the Salt Satyagraha and became an important part of the Indian independence movement.

In her new body or works, Shelly Jyoti explores the possibilities of establishing alternative societies where Gandhian ideals of ‘swadharma’ could be established through their sincere implementation. In a society where patriarchal values threaten the free existence of women, the artist feels that re-introducing Gandhian ideals with critical changes would function as a correctional force. Shelly Jyoti employs her Gandhian learning in order to flag out the possibility of creating societies where women, irrespective of their class, caste and age, could exercise ‘swadharma’ through ‘swadeshi’ socio-cultural and economic praxis.

Shelly Jyoti’s new works utilize contemporary  azrakh traditions (printing and dyeing) on  khadi fabric with quilting techniques supported by non-profit women organisation ,large  khadi fabric site specific installation ,sculptural artworks and  multi-media spoken poetry presentation.

“Shelly also traveled the same route that Gandhiji had taken eighty three years ago. As a textile designer, Shelly has always been intrigued by the quality as well as the symbolic value of Khadi, the alternative to mill cloth that Gandhiji had proposed to counter the economic extortion by the colonial masters, and as an avid user of handspun clothes she has been working with a lot of crafts and dyeing people from different parts of India, especially from Bhuj in North-West Gujarat. Her affinity for the Gandhian philosophy had taken her to work on the Champaran movement using indigo as her theme colour in a project titled ‘Neeldarpan’. ‘Salt: The Great March’ extends her growing interest in re-visiting and re-articulating the Gandhian ideals for creating a viable alternative for the unavoidable corporate culture and globalized world view on the dominance of the mainstream over the peripheral cultures.