Turkeys & Peacocks T-Shirt
These t-shirts reflect the battles that were fought around textiles during India’s independence movement that we see evidenced through the turbulent history of Turkey red. A turkey (symbolising British culture) and a peacock (the national bird of India) are seen side by side. Captured within this image are stories of intense competition; of old and new, man and machine, east and west, trader and producer; of indigo blue, the colour of ancient India, and Turkey red the colour of colonial Britain. Their arrangement however, suggests that these warring opposites could possibly be mutually dependent. People Tree are a collective working together as artist, designer and craftsperson, co-producing ethical objects, garments and books, that speak of traditional Indian crafts and modern sensibilities that they have dubbed ‘Urban Folk’.
Opened in 1991 at Connaught Place in the heart of Delhi by Orijit Sen and Gurpreet Sidhu the company focuses on using hand-printed Indian cottons to make a range of playful garments, contrasting tradition with modernity. The imagery in their designs function as decoration, and a form of story telling, reflecting ideas about the past, present, future and the interconnectedness of all these things. Small-scale production gives People Tree flexibility and generates a niche market for their statement pieces. They manufacture and sell with strong ethical values whilst defying all labels including Fairtrade and Copyright.