‘Pledging National Allegiance’

These works are in continuation of Shelly jyoti’s previous works ‘Indigo Narratives’ (2009-14) and ‘Salt: The Great March’ (2013-15)

This exhibition has two aims, one to touch upon the idea of swadharma towards nation and secondly explore a solution to uplift the rural population.

The first is an ideology stemming from Vedas (Ancient Indian texts composed in Sanskrit) second is setting the context of finding a solution to bridge and connect rural (70%). The gist of the thought can be put in a simple way of buying five yards of khadi by seventy crore urban population to empower spinners, weaver and unremunerated village citizens and bring them livelihood. This form of swadharma would be an effortless exchange of sacrifice and gain. The need to support khadi by urban is woven through the notion of patriotism, purity and sacrifice, all of which provide unifying ideologies more powerful in todays age.

In these works, Jyoti explores the philosophy of Gandhi’s khadi traversing human lives and humanity in 21st century. Gandhi instigated the role of spinner and khadi-wearer during freedom struggle. He thought handspun khadi would emerge from India’s handlooms not just to costume the nation but also to change the essential character of its people, altering colonial subjects into ‘proud citizens’. The story of khadi still resonates more than sixty-six years after India gained Independence from the perspective to create better and alternative societies.

Working in collaboration with 10th generation of Ajrakh textile artisans, these art scrolls on khadi with  200-400 year old blocks have historic importance but are conceptually contemporary in design.

These work features khadi site-specific installations, 20 Ajrakh textile artworks and multi media spoken poetry art. The show ‘The khadi March: Just Five Meters’ opens in New Delhi on October 2016 and travels to Mumbai and then Washington DC.