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Weaver, weaver spin a yarn

After several years, popular weaver Monika Correa puts together another much-anticipated exhibition - ‘Meandering Warp: Variations on a Theme’

Suezelle D’Costa / The Goan | FEBRUARY 09, 2013, 07:51 AM IST

Hand-weaving is one of the most ancient crafts. It is amethod of forming a fabric or a tapestry by interlocking the warp (longitudinalthreads) with the weft (the threads that run parallel to the width). Everyvillage in India has different methods of weaving or dyeing. But celebrityweaver Monika Correa breaks away from this traditional method of weaving.

“Earlier, I stuck to the traditional method of weaving. Butnow, the expression is brought to life from the technique itself,” says Monika,explaining further, “The loom has a reed which is like a comb that keeps thewarp threads parallel to each other. If I pulled away this comb, the threadsmay meander along in their own way. There are different variations andconnotations. I was surprised to see how I could vary my canvas in differentways.”

The basic difference between a painter and a textile artistis the canvas. “The canvas that painters use is quite different from that usedby weavers,” says Monika. A painter has a readymade canvas in front of him/her,but a weaver has to create the canvas. “This is the basic difference between apainter and a textile artist. If a painter wants to draw a line, he will pickup his brush, dip it in paint and make a mark across the canvas. As a weaver, Ineed to work carefully with the warp and weft in order to create a line,” sheadds.

 Monika graduated as amicrobiologist, but she was always fascinated with textiles. What triggered herpassion was her trip to Finland. She was visiting America with her architecthusband Charles Correa. “I was in the US for four months, when I was introducedto textile designer Marianne Strengell and who in turn introduced me to theconcept of Buful Rija (carpets),” Monika says, adding, “When I returned toIndia, I completed a short course in weaving and from there on I startedexperimenting with the craft.”

Apart from putting together exhibitions, Monika also takesup assignments. “I was commissioned a piece by The Constitutional Court ofSouth Africa where my work is now displayed. I was also commissioned fourpieces by the famous American architect Philip Johnson called the FourSeasons,” she says.

It took Monika 15 months to put together Meandering Warps.“I dedicate about 10 to 12 hours a day to weaving,” Monika says. But she admitsthat creating a warp consumes the maximum time. And this is what gives thistextile artist immense pleasure. She believes that when there is an exhibition,there is a definite statement.

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