Red Chilies Dohar & Red Chilies Dupatta
Red is an auspicious color in India. A red tilak on the forehead of a man wishes him good luck and a red dot on a woman is a symbol for marriage. Ghai has considered the significance of this colour, which is so pervasive in Turkey red and holds such prominence within the material culture he encounters in his daily life. His design uses objects, dried chilies, red beans and bangles, borrowed from his mother’s kitchen. He compares how these objects change many hands before they reach the kitchen with the many processes Turkey red underwent between Scotland and India before the cotton became garments to be worn. LOkesh has worked with his mother to produce a dohar (a summer quilt) made traditionally by up-cycling old sari material. This has been stitched by his mother, Asha Ghai, with the Red Chilies silk that she inspired.
LOkesh is involved with textiles, heritage, handicrafts, and working with communities in his adopted Gujarat. As an artist and academic working with traditional craft practice, his work has featured at the V&A Museum of Childhood; Harley Gallery, Nottinghamshire; Gallery of Costume, Manchester and Ahmedabad International Art Festival. He teaches and continues to contribute towards the growth of students at Kala Raksha Vidyala, India’s premier design institute for traditional craft communities.