About the Talk
This presentation, studying the representations of the Deccani garden in 16th and 17 th century kalamkari textiles from South India looks at the importance of imagination and of rasa, emotional essence, in engaging with the past. Also about associations which are important in our culture like ornamentation, alamkara. How plants – animals – men – gods are a continuum, one often representing the other, one being treated like the other, just like representations of the past, present and future, are another continuum without sharp dividing lines. Omana Eappen looks at multiple ways of looking at the past – accommodating plurality in a country that is extremely diverse, which could be through combinations and multivalence. She looks at how intertwined textiles and gardens were, how the iconography of an image developed, markers of identity, and the many layers, political, economic, social, scientific - that are all woven together in our dealing with the past.
About the Speaker
Omana Eappen is the Managing Trustee of the Nauras Trust, Bengaluru – working on a project with the Archaeological Survey of India and the National Culture Fund to revitalise the 17th century Adil Shahi Gardens of the Ibrahim Rauza and the Gol Gumbaz (the tombs of Ibrahim Adil Shah II and his son Mohammad Adil Shah respectively) in Bijapur (now Vijayapura), Karnataka and on its related publication. Looking for evidence of gardens in textiles led to an in depth study of a rare group of 16th/17thcentury kalamkaris from South India. She is writing a monograph on these textiles for Jnana Pravaha, Varanasi. She is interested in relating these projects to our times in multiple ways to connect across the plural segments of our society.