Please join us Friday, June 1st, at 6 pm for the opening of GROWING DIVINE, a collaborative exhibition of contemporary textile art featuring the work of three artists:
Kusum Pandey, a Hindu textile artist and leader of a village women's co-op
Azhair Hussain Khan, a Muslim embroidery master
Jethro Gillespie, a Mormon textile artist and painter
The show is co-curated by McArthur Krishna, a Mormon author and activist whose vision and tireless work have made this incredible and unique collaboration possible.
"HOWDY or NAMASTE or SALAAM ALAIKUM
Living in rural India is never dull. There are the unfamiliar sounds that jar your being like the call of a peacock or a jackal howling at night. There are the smells— we will leave those to your imagination.
There are the sights of weddings dancing in the street, sequined sari-clad women perched on the back of motorcycles, naked holy men walking the roads. There is the constant pang of missing home. There are the frequent challenges like no electricity and a snake in the shoe cupboard and rats in the toilet and a culture that is often incomprehensible. There is the constant demand for patience and personal growth. It is not comfortable.
There is, also, the deep resounding belief that if my Heavenly Parents wanted me on this path, there must be abundance here. So I looked around to find my own personal abundance.
And it IS here, in many many ways. (I am looking out the door now to the golden green of tropical afternoon sunshine and it makes me take deep breathes of gratitude. Abundance.)
But one of my most favorite ways is the abundance of creation possibility. In India, I can create in ways that are simply not possible in America. I create furniture, spaces, businesses, books, clothes… and now, textile art.
I was looking for a way to play to my Indian friends’ strengths. Mr. Hussain, a master embroidery artist, is exacting about form. He drives me crazy. I want things to roll and sway and rollick— and he demands precision and decision and tidiness. And our projects are possible and beautiful because of his demands.
Kusum, a woman with magic hands, will tackle anything. She leads a village women’s co-op in creating handicraft projects that help provide a livelihood (and a sisterhood) for all of them. Kusum will take an idea and twist and turn and from her hands comes something new and better than I had imagined. We laugh together often… mostly at ourselves.
I share almost nothing with these people. But we share this: we create.