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Pratham, UK to Display World's Largest Hand-cut

by:Unionrise     2020-06-29
What can be more endearing than a work of art created by children who live an under-privileged life yet show a spirit that never fails? Pratham UK, the overseas chapter of the charity Pratham India which is engaged primarily in providing education to under-privileged children in India is all set to showcase The Light, world's largest hand-cut paper chandelier, in a fund raising event titled 'ARTiculate' at Old Billingsgate Market, London on September 11, 2010. Created by 8000 Pratham children in India in tandem with Saanjhi artisans of Mathura who excel in the art of paper cutting craft, the installation is a specimen of the incredible spirit of Pratham's children and of India. In addition, a smaller version of the installation measuring 5x2.5 feet will be auctioned at the event. A series of hand painted Bamboo stems and Painted Alphabets using different traditional Indian handicrafts and methods will also be auctioned at the event. The 93 letters and symbols of the Painted Alphabets signify the two major written and spoken languages in India: Hindi and English. The paintings on their surfaces are a reminder of a method of communication and storytelling still prevalent in many parts of the world today. Each of the 200 handpicked 18 foot long Bamboo stems have been hand-flamed to create surface patterns and a cloudy black background, before being embellished by traditional masters in the traditional Indian painting style of either the 'Gond' tribe from in Central India or the Palm Leaf painters from Eastern India. For this year's fund raising event 'ARTiculate', Pratham UK had commissioned Indian design consultancy KAARU to create a design concept that could highlight the incredible spirit of Pratham's children and of India. Keeping this in mind, Kaaru, co-founded by Sanjib Chatterjee and Anjalee Wakankar, has designed the world's largest hand-cut paper chandelier called 'The Light' which is a giant ceiling mounted paper installation in the shape of an inverted pyramid. This was created out of approx. 3,000 paper screen panels of fire retardant paper, covering about 28000 sq. ft. in surface area. It has been worked upon by more than 8,000 children of 15 different Indian states, and several hundred Indian artisans. 15,000 pieces of paper were drawn on by Pratham children, then hand-cut by master artisans of the Saanjhi craft (the traditional Indian art of paper cutting) in the region of Mathura, in Uttar Pradesh, transforming them into individual paper screens. The screens were assembled in the form of a hanging inverted pyramid, to be suspended from the ceiling and lit from within, creating a monumental glowing center-piece for the event. The installation is 26 meters in length and 11 meters in width. The top point is 6 meters from ground level. It has consumed over 20,000 square feet of paper. The conceptualization and prototyping took about 45 days. The making process took ten months to complete. The design of this installation was inspired by the work that Pratham has been doing in India since the past ten years. It began with the simple idea of achieving an extraordinary result by bringing together many ordinary elements which at some point of time has made a small difference in the lives of Pratham's kids or their parents. Each year, with the support of PRATHAM UK's Art Advisory Committee and the curatorial expertise of leading independent design and art curators, PRATHAM UK will commission artists to create amazing pieces around the theme of literacy, which will then be produced in limited-editions and available for future orders through Pratham UK. ARTiculate will be the ultimate annual event supporting literacy in India and the first non-profit initiative to offer such an extraordinary and unique panorama of India's traditional artistic practices in the UK. Pratham UK is the overseas chapter of the charity Pratham India which is engaged primarily in providing education to under-privileged children in India. It was seeded in Mumbai by UNICEF in 1994 and has reached 33 million children across 19 Indian states till date. The focus of this endeavor is not just to raise money for millions of children but to also get a glimpse of their astonishing human spirit that survives with joy in the middle of some of the heaviest of odds.
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