Tree Of Life

A virtual gallery event and emergency relief fundraiser with 100% of profits going to Indian artisans

Siddi Quilts

ANITHA REDDY

Anitha N Reddy, a community-based art practitioner and researcher, has been working with textiles for the past decade and has been involved with the marginalised Siddi (African-Indian ancestry) community quilters from Uttara Kannada an Dharwad district. This socially enagaged project gives them a livelihood and makes them more visible. 

Traditionally, the Siddi quilts represent a family’s private memories and are typically made from remnants of old saris, children’s clothes, sarongs, and petticoats, to be used as mattresses, blankets, and baby swaddles. However, Anitha N. has identified the work for the method and subject, form and function as distinctive works of textile art. Through various projects and exhibitions, including a recent survey at the V&A Museum in London, Anitha’s work with the Siddi women has given their spectacular cultural heritage greater visibility and helped to ensure the revival of their quilting tradition, which is not well documented in South India. The Siddi community has long been marginalised and mistreated, but Anitha’s work with them has brought the community greater independence and confidence. This project aims to bring greater attention to the Siddi women’s quilting skills and support their artistic practice to improve wellbeing and promote self-reliance.

TREE OF LIFE ARTISTS AND ORGANIZATIONS

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Afro-Indian Siddi
'Kavand" or Quilts Artist

Bengaluru based art historian and textile curator Anitha  Reddy found herself in Analesara, a remote village in Karnataka. Reddy remembers her first sight of the village- patchwork quilts, patterned like mosaic, were draped on bridges, courtyards, and roofs,…

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