In 2011 Dovecot Studios connected with weavers in West Bengal to engage in a cultural and knowledge exchange. An extraordinary exhibition of the work of the West Bengali weavers was held at Dovecot, and Master Weaver Naomi Robertson visited West Bengal to study the work, techniques, and approach of the weaving community there.
Kantha Diaries is an original tapestry design by Robertson which is a reflection of her experience in India. By looking to West Bengali craft traditions of kantha embroidery and rice-paint decorations that adorns traditional buildings, Robertson developed a design that visually reflects common symbols and practices of the region.
The design of the tapestry is a squared composition with traditional patterns framing a series of images of the trip. Playful in its approach; cockroaches, mosquitoes, cars and buses frame a row of doll-like figures, creating a bustling energy reflective of Robertson’s impression of West Bengal.
Kantha Diaries is currently included in Dovecot’s curated selection of works for Collect 2021, international art fair for contemporary craft and design, online until 26 March.