Odisha-born and New York-based designer Bibhu Mohapatra is talking to with Odisha’s chief minister Naveen Patnaik for setting up an institute to promote the state’s weaving and craft traditions. The institute would not just bring the weavers and craftsmen under one roof, but to also foster a cultural exchange programme under which artists and artisans from other parts of India and the world can train and imbibe the state’s traditions.
Mohapatra also plans to launch a project through which the narratives of the artisans will reach customers buying the saris or textiles. For this, the designer will offer two designs to each weaver household and the artisans will have work on them in interesting ways. On a sari’s pallu or the corner of the pieces of home furnishing, they will weave their names so that they do not remain nameless, faceless artisans.
Each sari or home furnishing will be sold with a booklet detailing the history and other information about the weave or the textile. Mohapatra will also launch his label in India soon, which will made for Indian women and be in sync with his craft and design aesthetics. The label will also involve the Odisha weavers. More importantly, it will take into account the country’s value-for-money culture.