This collection takes its lead from the tribal villages of Hazaribagh in Northeastern India, where the walls of the villages’ mud homes are decorated with rambling, figurative murals. A canvas of dark charcoal earth is first laid down and left to dry, and then covered with a pale kaolin clay; before the top layer dries, women in the villages brush away the lighter earth with a broken comb or fingers to create lyrical silhouettes.
The mural-painting is part of a matrimonial ritual for the women which takes place every spring during the marriage season. Fleeting in nature, each year the murals are washed away with the heavy monsoon rains – and then once again started anew.
Drawn to the exaggerated scale and the boldness of the khovar designs, we commissioned women in the villages to do three paintings for us (leaf, vine, flower) – which we have translated into a collection of fabrics and wallpapers.