How does an artist push himself beyond the canvas? When artists A. Rajeswara Rao and Sajid Bin Amar were faced with this question, they knew they had to answer it quickly and when they did, they came with the exhibition Accedo, a show of textiles, where the works of the two artists have been printed on cloth.
“We have established ourselves in the field of art and people recognise our work now, but we felt the need to push ourselves and do something better. A meeting with artist Laxma Goud also got us thinking and we then came up with the idea of painting outside the canvas,” says Rao.
On display are a set of bedspread, kaftans, pillow covers and nighties, and the prints aren’t the usual that you find in the market. Explains Sajid, “We haven’t compromised on our work or technique. We used to do paper-cut art work, where an entire art piece is created by cutting just one sheet of paper. That is then used as a stencil to print on the textile.”
Both the artists have their particular style of painting. While Sajid explores the landscape and depicts nature, most of Rao’s work is inspired by people of the city and Hyderabadi architecture, especially the huge doors and balconies that once adorned the Old City. Take for instance the bedspread that he created. “This is called the Nawab Saheb Ka Darwaza. I was quite interested in the architecture in Hyderabad and created a few works during my college days, this was one of them,” says Rao.
Talking about how this show is a break from painting on canvases, Sajid explains. “An artist needs to constantly think about moving on to the next project, so we worked on this. After six months we will be taking this show to Ahmedabad too.” Manzoor Hussain, an artist, collaborated with the two artists and got their work printed onto textiles. He says, “Not everyone can own a Rajeswara Rao or Sajid’s painting, but this way it becomes easier to not just own their work but even wear it. The prices too are quite reasonable and are within the range of Rs 250 for a cushion cover and can go upto Rs 1,690 for a bedspread.”