Kantha embroidery of Bengal is really unique as they showcase simple elements of nature and scenes from our day-to-day lives. Kantha embroideries are now found at almost every exhibition in various Indian states, unfortunately some are not of very high quality. Recently I came across the works of artiste Surayia Rahman, who spent her younger days in India and settled in Bangladesh after her marriage. Her nakshi (derived from naksha meaning designs or motifs) kantha embroidered pieces are amazing pieces of art and showcase the daily lives of Bengali women and their involvement in household chores. Any woman would be able to identify herself with these activities like kitchen chores, chatting with friends, getting dressed, etc.
Now Surayia has started an organization called Arshi, where hundreds of women do the embroidery work under her guidance, to sustain her families.
Surayia Rahman, a self-taught painter, started kantha embroidery to give flights to her creative talent. Read here about her journey and how she got initiated into kantha embroidery in erstwhile Calcutta, that later helped her transformthe lives of scores of women in Bangladesh. Her tapestries are on display at several museums across the globe.
|A Kind and Smiling Face|
|Suraiya guiding Women of Arshi. Pic: Anil Advani|
|Woman in Waiting|
|Women in Blue|
|Life in Bengal|
|Women Busy in Household Activities|
|Women Engaged in Kantha Work|
|Oil Painting by Surayia|
A documentary and website on the life of Surayia Rahman are in the making. To support or sponsor the project or to locate Surayia’s work around the world, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or refer to www.kanthathreads.com.
Via: Hand Eye Magazine