Kannur in print
Trips to Cannanore were always business oriented on textiles with the larger environment on the visual periphery. Then Pallon Daruwala stepped in and changed things, says MALA KUMAR.
Reds and pinks that capture the essence of Indian life as seen on a beach in Cannanore.
THE photograph shows a cigarette-smoking weaver peeping out from under a cushion in red. It takes a second, more closer look to realise that what we're seeing is a photograph of the weaver wearing a red hat, and that this photograph is hiding amidst textile inspired by his red hat, typically worn by the men of Kannur.
"At Yamini, we visit Cannanore, Kannur as it is called now, on the north Kerala coast to work with fabrics, with yarn, with colour and texture and design. The trips are always textile-focused, with dyeing units and looms being the usual objects of our attention. Somehow though, the larger environment of Cannanore is always on the visual periphery... the geometry of coconut palms, creamy ocean spray on dark rock, crumbling seaside forts, lush green foliage, temples, churches and mosques, boats, nets and wiry fishermen, appams and fish curry ..." says Sherri Carlos, CEO of the textile company.
So earlier this year, Yamini Interiors Pvt. Ltd decided to do something out of the box, a bigger effort than the usual exhibition-cum-sale of furnishings and textile. They decided to document this larger environment of Kerala with the help of photographer Pallon Daruwala.
The exotic in the mundane
In a series of photographs that evoke the multi-faceted spirit of Cannanore, Pallon makes us see the exotic in what he swears is the mundane. The rain-drenched grass through a hole in an abandoned boat, a shirt on a clothesline, the ripples of the sea on a sandy beach are the things that have inspired the alumnus of the Brooks Institute of Photography, Santa Barbara. The designers at Yamini developed a range of textile products that took their cue from the colours, texture and form of the photographs themselves... both textile and photographic prints coming together in a special show at Yamini.
The trip in May
Pallon Daruwala made the trip to Cannanore in May. A major cyclonic depression made the team almost go into depression with sheets of rain hurling down. But though the photographer worried about the effect of super-high humidity on his cameras, he was able to turn grey skies and clouded vistas to distinct photographic advantage. "I don't come back from the field and then begin to crop and chop. The composition happens in the camera. And Cannanore is fabulous in the rain," says the photographer. "None of the harsh light of summer, yet vivid colours... and brooding skies cut open with sudden shafts of sunlight."
In a loose interpretation of the photographs, Yamini has designed textiles and textile products that include furnishing fabric by the metre, bed and bath linen, cushion covers and curtains, table linen and little embellishments. "We picked up a few elements from the photographs and translated them on to textile. Striated sand becomes woven stripes, hand-cut stone turns into self weaves, a blotchy wall is interpreted by an abstract print. Colour is always a keynote at Yamini, and we simply loved the aqua, azure, turquoise of the sea, the emerald, and olive shades of foliage, the crimsons and fuschia in the fishing nets and boats that Pallon helped us see," says Sherri Carlos.
A special show
Pallon Daruwala's limited edition series of photographic prints and Yamini's collection of textiles taking off from this varied visual theme are available at the "Cannanore" show at the Yamini showrooms in Mumbai and Bangalore this October.
Framed photographs are priced at Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 12,000, textile products at Rs. 200 upwards. One photograph each in Mumbai and Bangalore will be silent-auctioned, with proceeds going to a Cannanore-based charity.
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