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Wednesday, Jun 19, 2002

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Crafted with care

PUSHPA CHARI

The newly-opened craft boutique, Sunny Sistems - The Gallery in Adyar, has a wide choice of artefacts that are just right to enliven interiors.

OF THE many craft boutiques that have mushroomed in Chennai, the newly-opened Sunny Sistems — The Gallery invests the `non-verbal language' of craft with a different dimension. Through the innovative use of medium, concept and format and fusion of different craft skills to define a product in a contemporary context, Ravi Dhanda of The Gallery has provided new ways for crafts and craftspersons to evolve. Take for instance, the dramatic neem and mango wood sculptures in traditional and eclectic motifs on dining table and coffee table bases, the juxtaposition of red and blue Warli art drawings to highlight sleek, modern consoles, or mixing of buffalo horn and camel bone to craft a chess set... . The specially commissioned Tanjore paintings, and the large wooden icons of gods and goddesses, executed with `shastric' concepts of line, curve and proportion... each item compels attention.

The Gallery showcases the works of young artists. Done on canvas, silk, cotton and leather, the paintings by Dhanushkodi, Gangadharan and Vishwam capture a gamut of expressions. Particularly interesting are reproductions of more than 200-year old paintings by artists of the Raj such as Daniels, Meadowes, Taylor and the like. A reproduction of Jama Masjid bathed in lemon yellow light, a two-century old depiction of a Bengalee Brahmin Boys School in Calcutta and an equally old watercolour of a Maratha father pleading for the admission of his daughter to a school, reflect a rich heritage.

According to Ravi and Neelam Dhanda, the accent is on craftsmanship. This is evident in the finely nuanced applique work and embroidered painting, the array of dhokraware boxes, the specially commissioned wood cut and ceramic lamp stands, the stained glass wall hangings, etc. Hand blown glass tulips add a touch of colour, as do the Mughal miniatures on silk, leather puppet-craft, lampshades and much else. The lifestyle products range from embossed candles to brass bric-a-brac and many attractive items in silver-plated brass.

And if you fancy a fibre glass elephant, a set of dhokraware warriors or a Ganapathi smothered in flower power, browse at the Sunny Sistems — The Gallery, 58, Ground Floor, 2nd Main Road, Gandhinagar, Adyar.

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