Sanjhi Revisited: Splendid exhibition of unique paper art

New Delhi [India]: India is home to a large variety of local art forms which have been practiced for centuries and are a testimony to the hand skills of local artisans. Sanjhi, the art of hand cutting stencils from paper to create patterns on the floor is one such art form. It is believed to have its origins in Mathura and Vrindavan, the birthplace of Lord Krishna.

As a part of the temple rituals in this region, intricate multi-coloured rangoli or floor patterns have been created, for hundreds of years, with coloured powder using stencils. The art depicts Indian mythological stories in numerous forms. But over time, the use of Sanjhi declined steadily and the numbers of artisans practicing the craft were reduced to just a few families.

Delhi Crafts Council has been involved in reviving this dying art for more than three decades. Its first exhibition of Sanjhi called ‘Kagaz’ was presented in Delhi in 1990. This gave a certain visibility to the craft and opened up many possibilities including the involvement of several designers in this craft.

The Council held another exhibition in 2015, exploring the possibilities of using Sanjhi in contemporary interiors.

‘Sanjhi Revisited’ a 5-day exhibition starts today at Visual Art Gallery, India Habitat Centre, and will last till August 12. The exhibition has been conceptualized and curated by the Delhi Crafts Council as one of the special events marking its Golden jubilee this year. It will showcase new concepts based on the theme of architecture as its main focus.

Talking about the exhibition, Delhi Crafts Council says, “We are happy to have contributed to the development and revival of this marvelous tradition. Our support to the artisans lies in designing and marketing new products for this remarkably versatile craft. We dedicate this exhibition to the skilled Sanjhi artisans of Mathura who over the years have remained committed to the development of the craft and have continued to practice and nurture it.” (ANI)