This week I have been looking at Indian craft and product design in a book called 100% India by Catherine Geel (art critic, curator and photographer) Catherine Lévy ( designer and one half of Tsé & Tsé Associées design firm) who both live in Paris. The book takes an anthropological approach giving social and economic reasons for the manufacture of these products. I was drawn to this book (having looked at books on Indian contemporary art and disregarding them as they emulated Western modern art tradition too closely) when researching for visual reference for A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The story is of a girl who grows up in British colony in India around the turn of the 20th century with her British Father, her French Mother having passed away when Sara, the protagonist, was born. Sara is taken to a seminary school for girls when her Dad is conscripted to fight in World War One. The book is about cultural clash, adaptation and the extraordinary resilience of humans through power of imagination. The story is perfect to weave my culturally-referenced illustration to and should demonstrate my ideas well.


Examples of wheeled toys made fom Plastic and found in Jaipur in 2003.
(Geel and Lévy, 2004:108-9)

Maybe I can do 3D work again, I really enjoy making models. Here is one character that I made last year:

The resourcefulness of the creators’ of these oddities are what really draws me to them, a theme running throughout my work. Sometimes its when ones options are reduced that thoughts collate and something original is invented. These toys also remind me of my Grandma when she told me she and her siblings and other local children made a toy out of a biscuit or chocolate tin and stick. A toy like this:


fig. 3 Boy pushing a hoop with a stick (Butler, 2013)



Geel, Catherine and Lévy, Catherine (2005, English version, first published in 2004 in French) 100% India Éditions du Seuil: France

Forrester, Katie (2013) Cric Croc video

Butler, Rhett A. (2013) laos_0623
Photographed In: Luang Namtha Province Laos
Accessed 27/01/2014


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