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Textiles (MA)

Vidushi Chenna

Vidushi Chenna (b.1997) is a weaver and designer with experience working with grassroots artisans in India. She belongs to a weaving community in India. Despite coming from a family that traditionally practised handweaving in history, she never realised it until her later years.

Her work is influenced by local and sustainable community practices, Indian philosophies and storytelling. Vidushi explores traditional textile techniques, and ancient art forms and incorporates contemporary concepts and narratives that challenge ethical and environmental concerns.

Her practice led to research, understanding value chains, and working with natural and agricultural materials from around the world, both globally and glocally.

Prior to studying MA Textiles with specialising in Weave at the Royal College of Art, she graduated from the National Institute of Design, India in Textile and Apparel Design.

Picture with loom.

I come from a weaving community in South India. But due to industrialisation during British colonisation, my ancestors stopped the practice of hand weaving to move into working for power loom mills. This slowly drifted into other professions as the mills got shut over time. 

To investigate the shift to power loom, during my visit to rural India, I got fascinated by the people, their traditional culture and lifestyle, modernised yet still prevalent. The positivity in exchanging knowledge, and acknowledging other communities to uplift their area made me realise how important revival, respect and identity were to them. 

Considering the importance of history, environmental and sustainable practices, I was interested in reviving the relevance of handloom practices for these local crafts and places' social, cultural and heritage

Can Cotton and clay evolve as materials together?

In continuation of my practice with traditional materials, In this project, 'My Land of Cotton' I experimented with indigenous knowledge about the two most primitive materials clay and cotton, and their interrelation and evolution over time in a cultural context. Their applications and the story they can convey together through weaves

This project evolved from my personal family connection, drawing inspiration from local weaving practices to inform my making and researching, experimenting and exploring with the two most primitive and local materials, clay and cotton and their evolution. This was directly connected to the change in cotton from indigenous varieties to genetically modified cotton.
cotton and clay process
clay beads
clay and cotton with colour process.
Developed colour palettes from natural colours of turmeric and terracotta. Various weaving techniques, mainly focusing on imprinting of weaves, surface ornamentation in weaves and flat weaves (Dhurrie and Jamdani).
clay weaving tools
clay beads
clay beads weaving
clay weaving
clay beads weaving
clay weaving
Handweaving explored: The intricate fusion of clay bead delicacies in combination with cotton.
Clay modelling
Imagining the versatility of clay, its potential in various applications while conveying the story of community spaces.
Sculpting, media item 2
hands with textiles
hands with textiles
hands with clay beads