Updated: Apr 23
I've been living in India for several years and there is now a large number of things – architecture, objects, utensils, clothes, arts, crafts and designs – that I love and would not want to miss. For example:
Geometric patterns and ornamental decoration are key characteristics of designs Made in India. It is part of the country's architecture, textile printing, furniture carving, embroidery, and of course in mehendi (henna) and jewelery design.
Certainly, Islamic influences play a role (check Muslim Mughal art, calligraphy, arabesques etc), yet ornaments and geometric designs are very pronounced and have always been an essential, independent feature in Indian art and culture.
Whether floral rosettes or abstract elements arranged around one or more axes of rotation, rich mandala-like compositions, specific forms such as flowers or symbols from the subcontinent's portfolio of flora and fauna (peacock's eye, lotus flower etc), highly delicate details and orchestrations, printed, built or woven, this decor world is a wonderful contrast to the linear tendencies and rational design style Made in Germany.
The boundless space and expansive look & feel that can arise through a repetitive arrangement of visual elements is a fascinating way to illustrate the infinite creative power and omnipresence of the supreme divine life force (Parabrahman).
In this context, also the mystical Sri Yantra comes to mind, which is certainly one of the oldest and most significant sacred patterns, representing absolute harmony, eternity and the multidimensionality of our existence.
images: daybed throw, own archive; building detail in Rajasthan, own archive; type vignette, own archive; pattern book cover; boho pattern by Tasha Goddard; gunalaxsmi aunty from 'Upping The Aunty' by Meera Sethi; magazine cover, creative gaga; mehendi / henna design, wikipedia; crystal Sri Yantra, own archive