By Hand From The Heart is a biannual Makers Market held in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
A bit about yourself.
We are two sisters, Shishu and Chetna, currently employed as software professionals and die-hard art lovers. Born and brought up in a traditional family involved with practicing Mithila art (Madhubani Painting), we have developed keen interest in folk art forms.
The works on display.
Mithila art is the soul of all our products. We believe art remains young when people keep experimenting. We try to create various lifestyle products using our artwork so that it reaches a wider audience. Apart from the canvases and framed paintings, we will be bringing some colorful jewellery, accessories, hand painted combs, coasters and fridge magnets.
Why is making important to you?
There was a time when crafting was an important part of daily life and every house was a kind of curated space because of these handmade beauties. There were various crafts practised inside our household, along with “Mithila Painting”.
Our grandmother, besides being an expert Mithila artist, was quite skilled in “Sikki grass work” and and “Palm leaf work”, while my mother loved creating beautiful hand embroidery and crochet products. We grew up imbibing these soulful traditions and have hands-on experience with few of these crafts.
Making comes as a natural urge to us.
What was the first thing you remember making?
At a very young age we were encouraged to create floor painting (called “Aripan”) by our grandmother for various rituals taking place at home. I also remember creating greeting cards for friends on new year or birthdays.
How do you get around creative blocks?
Creative blocks happen and good thing is, with time we have come to know that we will overcome it and things will be flowing smoothly again. So when we are struggling with ideas, we stop the work for sometime, relax and take a good look around nature. Sometimes reading and observing other artists’ works helps too.
What’s your most challenging work so far.
As we work in a very limited time frame, we mainly create small format works, projects that can be completed in short span of time with lots of breaks in between. Recently I (Shishu) started painting a series based on spirituality, that contains comparatively larger format works (22″ x 30″), I was apprehensive about it because of my inconsistency. But I have been able to complete two of them already.
You have participated in an earlier edition of By Hand From The Heart; what was the BHFTH experience and what have you observed ?
BHFTH witnesses both great artists and great visitors. I was very impressed by the line up of artists who were displaying their works, there was a lot to learn from them. At the same time the visitors were appreciative towards art and artists. They understand and support the authentic handmade product well. The event curators are very supportive and enthusiastic through out the event.
About Chennai What advice would you give other to artists & makers to explore Chennai?
Chennai provides the makers an amazing audience for their handmade product. It provides quite positive environment for art and artists to nurture their talent.
What’s next for you?
Exploring and experimenting the art as much as we can and presenting them through our products.
How was business for you at the event?