Artisane, Art and Cultural Centre Photograph:( WION )
The purpose of 'Artisane' is to celebrate the Arts and Crafts of Kashmir Valley and also help preserve the heritage of Kashmir
India's Jammu and Kashmir was recently listed by UNESCO among the creative cities across the world. The valley has immense art and craft like the weaving of silk carpets, paper mache, wood carving, pashmina and sozni. But what the valley lacked was a place where people could experience the making of these handmade products.
Ali Shah took it upon himself to create Valley's first Art and Culture centre where he plans to bridge the gap between the artisans and people.
The centre has been named 'Artisane, Art and Cultural Centre', and is located in the Kunzer area of Baramulla district. A place where people would witness the process of art coming to life. The idea is to make people understand the hard work and passion involved in making these exquisite products.
People who visit the cultural centre would be able to see a live demonstration of hand-made products like kani and pashmina shawls, silk carpets, colourful papier-mache products, minute sozni and embroidery work and carved walnut woodwork.
"The earthen world of Artisane is a mini representation of Kashmir’s rich architectural and craft legacy. The sublime aesthetics of the stone and wood structure which took almost 4 years to complete beholds the idea of Kashmir in each corner. The inspiration to create this cultural centre is to bring a psychological renaissance to the cottage industry and revive the hand-made practices to create craft delights indigenous to Kashmir. It celebrates the authenticity and perseverance of the craftspeople who work arduously to preserve the heritage of the valley," said Mehboob Iqbal Shah, Co-Founder, Artisane, Art and Cultural Centre.
The experts said that 'Artisane' could be a steppingstone and the government of Jammu and Kashmir should create spaces like these. They believe that craft of the valley needs to be showcased as heritage gardens and properties.
"The way we showcase our gardens and heritage properties in the valley, we need to showcase the craft as well. People have to experience the creative demonstration of how every handmade product in the valley is made. Artisane is a very thoughtfully done place, where space is not subservient to the products. The people who visit the cultural centre would first imbibe the space and later look at the products. And I hope the government takes a step like this too so that more such places are available for the people who are interested in Art and Craft of the Valley," said Saleem Beigh, Saleem Beg, former DG of tourism and chairman of Indian National Trust for Arts and Culture Heritage (INTACH) J&K chapter.
The ambience of the Artisane has been designed to resemble the artisan's house. The mud-plastered walls and wooden ceilings designed in traditional architectural style make them feel at home.
"Artisane bridges the gap between the master artisans and buyers. When you experience the process of art coming to life, you cherish it more. You also witness the effort and passion involved in creating these magnificent pieces and value both the artisan & their art. The artisans narrate a story behind these pieces through their work at the Karkhana," said Mehboob Iqbal Shah, Co-Founder, Artisane, Art and Cultural Centre.
The purpose of 'Artisane' is to celebrate the Arts and Crafts of Kashmir Valley and also help preserve the heritage of Kashmir.