Katab: Quilting Stories
For the British Textile Biennial, Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery displays a series of quilts, inspired by Hollywood and Bollywood films and Hindi TV series, made by women artisans from migrant communities across the city of Ahmedabad, Western India. The quilts have been developed through an ongoing collaborative dialogue by Katab: Not Only Money, an independent project established in 2014 by Lokesh Ghai and Emma Sumner. Traditionally, women from these communities would practise the craft of katab (appliqué) to make domestic household decorations with recycled waste fabrics, but to make a regular income for their families, many have been drawn into commercial work for clients and are allowed little, if any, creative voice within the production process. For many of the women, the commissions they make through Katab: Not Only Money are the first opportunity they have had to put their own name on their work.
The quilts are exhibited alongside a selection of items from Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery’s South Asian collection, including a quilt by Hariyaben Bhanani and Lokesh Ghai, made as part of the 2012 Cotton Exchange Project which explored the connections between Ahmedabad and the North West of England through the cotton industry
This series of quilts were originally commissioned for an exhibition at the Manchester Craft and Design Centre in September 2017, supported by Arts Council England.
Throughout the British Textile Biennial, Katab’s project leader Emma Sumner will facilitate a series of drop-in, hands-on Community Quilting Workshops within the Katab Quilt Stories exhibition at Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery.
Further details can be found here.