Pigment, Form and Light: The Arts of India 1550-1900, Prahlad Bubbar, 33 Cork Street, London, W1, until 14thNovember 2015
This show is an elegant celebration of Indian court life, revealed through classical paintings, objects and early photographs.
The 18th century Indo-Islamic courts of Hyderabad and Lucknow as well as early 19th century Mughal Delhi are revealed through works commissioned by resident Europeans. They reflect the spirit of tolerance, curiosity and romance of the time. While colour is a part of Indian life it is its light that unifies paintings, photographs and objects.
The Fabric of India, V&A Museum, London SW7, until 10thJanuary 2016
This is an extensive exhibition which is a must for all interested in textiles, costume and Indian culture. You will discover bandanna handkerchiefs, the tent of Tipu Sultan (1750-1799), saris, temple hangings, floor spreads as well as the chintzes and hangings sought by Western consumers either to wear or adorn beds and rooms in Europe.
It is also a history of the production of these glorious textiles, with many processes explained and highlighted. The influence and threat to Indian hand-made textiles by the industrial processes of European textile making is examined as is the resistance movement to such processes which led to a resurgence of pride and opposition to them by supporting indigenous production. A stand which is possibly best exemplified in the 1930s by Mahatma Gandhi asking the Indian people to spin and weave their own cloth, Khadi. Khadi as many of you will know, became a tool of the Independence Movement. Nor is the importance of contemporary Indian textiles ignored with fine examples highlighting its importance both at home and internationally.