A part of this year’s focus in the craft exhibition will be on the jaali motif across crafts in India. The multiple forms that we will focus on include: sanjhi; stone work; inlay in marble; jaali in pashmina; block prints; chikan embroidery; Bastar and Bidri jaali; baskets; leather; teak wood jaali, among others. The emphasis will be on hard materials, soft materials and natural fibres.

Laila Tyabji

Laila Tyabji is chairperson and founder-member of Dastkar, an NGO working with crafts and craftspeople all over India. Her work with artisans over the last 45 years includes the Chikan workers of SEWA Lucknow, Lambani tribals in Karnataka, Ari, mirror-work, and Kantha craftswomen in Kashmir, Kutch and Bengal.

Her most rewarding and exciting projects involve creating new employment avenues through craft for pastoral and marginalised rural communities: bonded labour in Bihar, displaced villages in Ranthambhore, victims of insurgency in Kashmir. Laila studied art in Baroda and Japan, and worked as a freelance designer in textiles, graphics, interiors, and the theatre.

She was awarded the Padma Shri for her work in craft and development in 2012.