Our history is the sacred biography of the Mother. Our philosophies are the revelations of the Mother’s mind. Our arts – our poetry and our painting, our music and our drama, our architecture and our sculpture, all these are the outflow of the Mother’s diverse emotional moods and experiences.’
- Bipin Chandra Pal
Glass beads on hand loomed cotton, rikshaw canopy canvas
Art as social commentary is a feature of Anna Crichton’s work and ‘Mother India - Embroidered Tales’ is an invitation to reflect on Crichton’s response to social issues in rural India. Featuring hand stitched and beaded embroideries and wood block prints, this exhibition is sure to stimulate reflection and discussion.
Working closely with local craftspeople through curious and patient translators, together with Google Translate, Anna provided the embroiderers and wood block carvers with the materials and detailed designs. Following Anna’s designs, the embroideries were then hand stitched onto village loomed cloth, then sewn onto street-worn canvas backings - formerly pedal rickshaw canopies that Anna bought from their bewildered and amused drivers.
A multi-award winning illustrator, cartoonist and ceramicist, Auckland based Anna has turned to new media in this response to the struggles and hardships of India’s rural communities and in particular the plight of India’s women.
The artworks are the creative output of Crichton’s three month 2018 artist residency in Varanasi and a more recent wood block carving and printing project in Ahmedabad, India.
After having been exhibited in three New Zealand public galleries, the Mother India embroideries are now being offered for sale. 10% of all sales will be going to the craftspeople in India that Anna collaborated with.
Anna wished to acknowledge and thank The James Wallace Foundation and The Asia New Zealand Foundation for their generous support in helping to fund her residency in Varanasi.
Exhibition runs from 6 - 19 Oct, 2021