Back in February some of you mightrecall that I experienced India for the first time in my life on a brief but compelling trip courtesy of the Victoria & Albert Museum.  The sole reason was to discover the roots, the craft and the tradition of the textiles that will feature in V&A’s upcoming exhibition The Fabric of India as part of their India Festival in October.  On a three day trip to Delhi and Jaipur, we saw a LOT – so much so that despite losing one SD card containing photographs from one half of the trip – I still have enough images and content to split up into a series of posts, which I’ll be publishing in a sort of loose countdown to October 3rd when The Fabric of India opens.  First up is the thing that everyone said would completely slay me if I ever came to India – yup, it’s those colours.  The abundance of all shades.  Everywhere you looked and made all the brighter and vivid in the pink-hued sunlight that washes over Jaipur in particular.  There is no fear or polite convention when it comes to the use of colour.  It bursts over everywhere you go and there’s no sheepish or apologetic stance to go with it, as it might do in the West.  It’s not considered “outlandish” or “wild” to have yellows, pinks, greens, blues and reds mixed into one entity be it an outfit, a house or a moving vehicle.

It was in Jaipur, where I took the most photographs.  It was hard not to snap everything and anything.  The buildings that from afar look like a jumbled up abstract painting.  The rickshaws and tuk tuks adorned with trinkets and kitsch.  The faded typography.  All manner of paper and textile paraphernalia sold in the markets that incited squeals of “Ooohs” and “Aaahhs” from us bumbling tourists.  It was just as well that Fabric of India was the primary agenda of our trip.  It became all too easy to see how Indian culture expresses itself through colour and how it is intrinsically interwoven into daily life.  Seeing smidges of colour outside of our formalised agenda was one way of seeing how those exhibiting textiles pieces relate to reality.  I’ll be going into more thorough detail about the exhibition with upcoming Fabric of India posts.  For now, allow the colours to do the talking…

Thread-sellers-at-Dilli-Haat

Dilli-Haat-basket-stall

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