The valley of vivid hues
Good Earth offers a close look into Kashmir’s colourful Naqashi craft through its recent collection and documentary
The charm of naqashi—from the land of ethereal beauty, Kashmir—lies in its unique design vocabulary in which the intricately hand-drawn illustrations are inspired by the beauty of the valley. It is this design conversation that Good Earth, now in its 25th year, revisits with the launch of its crafts film, Naqashi—Papier-Mâché, as part of its docu-series, ‘Pehchaan—The Discerning Eye of a Connoisseur’.
Pehchaan, introduced in 2015 by Good Earth, offers a close look into India’s various handicraft traditions. The fifth in the series, Naqashi is an effort to present the intricacies of the delicate and intensive craft of Kashmir, which recycles waste paper into beautiful hand-painted and handmade lacquerware.
Anita Lal, Founder and Creative Director, Good Earth, says, “We have been working with artisans from Kashmir since 2012 with a long-term view to create a new design vocabulary inspired by tradition. We absorbed the rich crafts history of the region and engaged in conversations with the craftspeople over endless cups of saffron tea as we integrated this unique art form, creating a one of a kind craft collaboration.”
Against this backdrop of cultural synthesis and collaboration, the brand has laid down a rich legacy in the crafts of Kashmir. There was the Persia Garden, inspired by exquisite Persian miniature celebrating the enduring art practice. It was followed by Nigeen, an award-winning design that evoked memories of cherry blossom trees surrounding the deep blue Nigeen waters. While staying true to the ethos of naqashi art, the brand also pushes forth a modern language for the urban consumer.
Lal says, “With intent to sustain the craft while giving it a new global audience, the design aesthetic was kept connected to their traditions of arabesques and nature-inspired motifs. At the same time, we brought in a contemporary style. A craftsman must connect to what he is making in order to infuse it with his energy. That unseen mark of the maker is the soul of design and that is the value of a handmade object.”All proceeds from the sale of the Naqashi range will be routed back to the artisans. The brand hopes that this will generate enough profit to reinvest in community training. The film can be watched on goodearth.in.