Silk River

Making of the Silk Scrolls – India


We worked in 20 locations from Murshidabad to Batanagar (Hooghly) and Kew Gardens to Southend (Thames) capturing their stories to reinterpret a shared heritage and their connection to the river and transformed them onto 20 hand-woven hand-painted batik silk scrolls.

We identified ten communities along the Hooghly and through arts workshops in November, we collected drawings and stories inspired by common themes of the river. This material was the inspiration for the creation of 10 hand-painted Murshidabad silk scrolls. The high quality silk was hand woven in Islampore under the supervision of eminent silk merchant Gadadhar Hore.

The first ten scrolls were designed and painted in a fourteen-day residency hosted by the Murshidabad Heritage Development Society at Azimganj in January 2017. Working with the Rural Crafts and Cultural Hubs and the Crafts Council of India we selected twenty talented craftspeople including Patuas, scroll painters from Pingla, Kantha embroiderers, clay doll makers from Krishnanagar, Shora and Santiniketan batik artists to form the team alongside twenty local artists and fashion students from the ten communities along the Hooghly to collaborate with a team of UK silk painters from Kinetika.

All 10 of the Bengali silk scrolls were revealed as a part of the Murshidabad Heritage Festival on 28 and 29th January 2017. From there the scrolls travelled to London where they inspired the UK communities in the design of theirs. All twenty were then walked along the Thames river in September 2017 and along the Hooghly river in December 2017 by participants of Silk River who revealed their stories along the way.

View an interactive version of all the scrolls HERE, or click through to each of the Indian designs using the images below. 

Each interactive scroll has photos and interviews that can be opened by clicking on the image disks at the side.

Artists that took part to create the Indian scrolls:

Week 1

Kinetika Artists
Ali Pretty
Jacqueline Todd
Jane Ford

Patachitra Artists
Swarna Chitrakar
Manoranjan Chitrakar
Mohiuddin Chitrakar
Jaba Chitrakar
Mousumi Chitrakar
Monimala Chitrakar

Kantha Stitching Artists
Tajkira Begum
Papia Begum

Clay Doll Makers
Panchu Bag
Jyotsna Bag

Manali Das – Art Teacher
Banasree Chakraborty – Art Teacher
Vikramjeet Chatterjee – Fashion Design Student
Ashis Chowdhury – Artist

Sumpi Sarkar – Fashion Design Student
Suraj Das – Student, Future Hope
Mangal Hembrom – Student, Future Hope
Surjit Mayera – Student, Future Hope
Basudev Namata – Teacher, Future Hope

Neline Mondal – Heritage conservationist

Asim Mondal – Art Student
Rakhsha Chauhan – Fashion Design Student
Debanjana Bhattacharya – Fashion Design Student
Utter Joardar – Fashion Design Student
Devdutta Banerjee – Literature Student.

Week 2

Patachitra Artists
Jamela Chitrakar
Ananda Chitrakar
Haru Chitrakar
Baki Chitrakar
Nurjahan Chitrakar
Bithika Chitrakar

Sara painting artists
Sunil Kumar Pal
Malati Pal

Batik artists
Pallab Das
Rakhahari Bagdi
Susanta Banerjee
Kaushik Singh

Priyanka Das – Student
Susanta Banerjee – Student
Suva Das – Student
Kamal Das – Fine Art Student

Full project credits are HERE.