Collaborators: Ashutosh Verma x Nisha Vikram
Project Tarasha and Creative Dignity have facilitated a collaboration inspired by M.C. Escher, a Dutch graphic artist, a luminary in the realm of optical illusions and impossible constructions. He was a master of tessellations, each shape interlocking seamlessly in a repeated pattern without any gaps or overlaps to build a visual narrative. Escher’s notable tessellations, like “Sky and Water I” (1938) and “Reptiles” (1943), blur the lines between positive and negative space, as shapes effortlessly transform from birds to clouds, fish to waves, and lizards to snakes.
In this East meets West collaboration, we take Escher’s mind-bending tessellations to the Sanjhi heritage artisans of Mathura and reimagine it through CraftCanvas’ lens. This journey involved delving into the intricacies of translating complex designs into the delicate format of paper cutting while maintaining the structural integrity of the medium. The essence of this project lies in the fusion of two diverse artistic traditions.
These works are available to commission with the Sanjhi artist, Ashutosh Verma.
Nisha Vikram founded CraftCanvas in 2011, a collective that collaborates with craft clusters across India to transform traditional crafts to suit contemporary spaces. CraftCanvas specializes in large-scale installations and murals with notable projects at the Honourable Prime Minister’s office and Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in New Delhi, Taj and Oberoi group of hotels Dedicated to promoting traditional craft, Nisha offers training programs for artisans at DCH, Gujarat and immersive workshops for design students on the craft-design process at CEPT and NID.
Artisan Ashutosh Verma
The delicate art of papercutting is said to have originated in Mathura from the time of Lord Krishna. At the age of 26, Ashutosh Verma is a sixth-generation artisan specializing in the traditional craft of Sanjhi. Despite the reluctance of many in his generation to engage in such intricate craftsmanship, Ashutosh remains dedicated to the tradition he learned from his guru, Mohan Kumar Verma, since childhood.