Hindu women unite together for silk scrolls

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Neasden Temple

Kinetika, the renowned international outdoor arts company based in Purfleet, has been commissioned by the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir to create ten bespoke batik silk scrolls for International Women’s Day.

Women from BAPS, known also as the Neasden Temple, have been visiting the Kinetika studio at the High House Production Park in Purfleet, to attend special workshops to design, draw and paint the scrolls.

Displays

Kinetika’s creative director Ali Pretty and artist Lisa Meehan led introductory workshops for the women at the Neasden Temple in December.

Each scroll is 4 metres long and tells a story, highlighting the most important principles of the faith of the BAPS such as selfless service, knowledge and truth. Once the designs were finished the workshops moved to Purfleet and the waxing and painting began.

101 girls and women from the Temple, ranging in age from 11 to 62 years, are involved in the project to create the scrolls. There are college and university students involved alongside accountants, doctors, chiropodists and schoolgirls.

Once finished the scrolls will be on display at the Neasden Temple on Sunday 10 March to celebrates the tenth anniversary of its International Women’s Day event.

The scrolls will then tour the UK, visiting other temples before returning to Neasden to be displayed at future events.

Rena Amin, Volunteer at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Neaden said ‘The notion of creating these artistic stories enables the community to appreciate the cultural heritage that Hindus offer to the UK.

“We are extremely grateful to Arts Council England for approving the grant and enabling women of all ages to learn a new skill and build their confidence via this creative medium.’
‘It has been an absolute pleasure meeting with, learning from and working with this wonderful team of women.”

The commission for the BAPS scrolls is a legacy from Kinetika’s Silk River project. The silk used by Kinetika for the scrolls is cultivated and woven in Murshidabad in West Bengal.

Kinetika came across this Indian silk in 2016 while working on Silk River. It is a richer texture and better able to hold colour than Chinese silk and Kinetika’s use of this silk has revived the silk weaving industry in Murshidabad.

To find out more please go to www.kinetikaonline.co.uk or follow Kinetika on facebook, twitter or Instagram. More information about BAPS, please go to http://londonmandir.baps.org/.

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