Arts & Cultural Management

Experience

Researcher and Registrar, DakshinaChitra Museum

2012 - Worked for a year as a Researcher and Registrar of Museum Collection at DakshinaChitra, a heritage museum in Chennai, India.  My duties there included accessioning, cataloging, stock taking, curating in- house exhibitions, research and documentation.

Co-Founder, Akarshika

2010 - Co-Founded a small hobby-based business that specialised in making and selling handmade jewelry, bags and garments. Was in charge of managing finances, marketing, designing and sourcing materials. Planned workshops for young children and adults. Participated in handmade exhibitions around Chennai, India.

Assistant to Curator, Art Chennai

2012 - Interned under Art Historian, Curator and Senior Lecturer of  Australian National University, Chaitanya Sambrani for the initiative Let the World In, an Exhibition of Narrative Art at Lalit Kala Akademi, Chennai, India

Dissertation Title

Turning Point: Making handicrafts visible: a Case Study of Lacquerware crafts of Tamilnadu and Karnataka

Dissertation Abstract

India is a country with varied and vibrant culture - from the royal Pashmina silk of Kashmir to the Kathakali dance form in Kerala; the Pochampalli weave so loved in Andhra Pradesh to the Portugese inspired music native to Goa. The heritage of this vast country is inspired from its long and illustrious history. The heritage is built up of both tangible and intangible cultural heritage, and handicrafts are one of the largest contributors towards India's heritage. 

 

In this dissertation I look at how the handicraft sector in India has evolved over the past years due to changes in environment through a case study of the lacquerware crafts of Tamilnadu and Karnataka. Though the industry has grown, the craft and craftsmen still face many problems. The dissertation proposes a framework for studying the situation of handicrafts in India based on a spectrum of craft categories, and applies this to the study of the lacquerware crafts in order to glean a deeper insight into the handicraft industry in particular locales and identify the often unseen and underlying reasons behind the situation of a craft. Through ethnographic research, the thesis hopes to be a 'turning-point' in craft research by providing an holistic overview of the issues surrounding the history, promotion, preservation of handicrafts in India.

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