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GOPIKA NATH: A PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY

 

Gopika Nath is a Fulbright Scholar, an alumnus of The Central School of Art and Design, London, U.K. A Textile Designer, a Fiber Artist, a Writer and a Teacher, her association with Textiles began in 1976. Her talent and expertise have been successfully employed by the Corporate Sector, the Handloom Industry, Retail Organizations, Fashion Designers, Exporters and Educational Institutes.

Working with textiles as 'Art for Wear', she has created her own range of exclusive sarees and scarves, and also worked with some of the leading Fashion Designers of the country, creating specialty fabrics for Rohit Bal, Gitanjali Kashyap and Ashish Soni, among others. Her work has been exhibited in India and abroad. Of this it has been said - "Gopika Nath's professional competence matched with her free expressive sense of styling and designing has made her collection of sarees quite unique" and "her creations are so perfect that buyers cannot believe it is hand done --- she is a painter, a designer, a colour specialist. If you choose to wear one of Gopika Nath's creations, it would be a bit like donning an original painting."

As a design professional, Gopika Nath is an acknowledged leader in more ways than one. In addition to teaching traditional subjects relating to design, she has conceived, designed and taught a unique design sensitization programme for management professionals and also conducts lectures on ‘Design and Society in the Indian Context’ highlighting various social issues that remain largely ignored in the business of Design.

Working with various agencies under the aegis of the Ministry of Textiles, and private organizations, Ms. Nath has considerable experience of working with crafts people in the rural sector. In this regard, she has undertaken projects for design and development of fabric in Block printing with natural dyes, Ikat fabrics in cotton and silk for Furnishing, Sarees and Dhurries as well as Kashmiri, hand embroidered chain stitch fabric and Crewel rugs. She has also worked in the tribal region of Bastar, M.P. reviving the dying handloom art of the region. For someone who has worked so actively in the visual realm, her evolution from Textile Designer to Textile artist has been a matter of course. Once again she leads in this area as a "darer on virgin ground, one who really thinks for herself. Refreshingly different as some of her own offering is, one is even more pleased that she is questioning the currently accepted parameters of art. Her intellected stance may well help make the act of art, socially more fractious."

As a Textile Artist her chosen medium of expression is Embroidery. Having been exposed, quite considerably to the existing hand-crafted textile traditions of India, Gopika is inspired to Embroider, rather than paint on a canvas. She believes that Textile Art, in the Indian context, is a key element in defining the future of India's hand-crafting legacy. Working with needle and thread, exhibiting her work as an artist/ craftsperson in the environs of the Art Gallery, she hopes to be able to lend dignity to the notion of hand-crafting as 'Art', beyond mere skilled labour, as it is largely considered today.

While questioning the existing parameters of Art, through Art for Wear, Installations and other creative expressions of her ideas, Gopika is also working towards evolving a personal iconography through which she can present ideas and thoughts that have their antecedents in this global society, but are also deeply rooted in the Indian ethos. In this context Hindu myths and legends as well the Indian tradition of hand-crafting in ancient India, form key features of her current research and expression.

Gopika Nath is well travelled and presents a world view in all her activities and ideas. She has studied in London, and lived there for 7 years. As a Fulbright Scholar, she has spent time in the U.S. researching Textile Art in America, and has also visited Japan, sponsored by the Japan Foundation, on an exchange programme to meet and interact with Asian Textile Artists/ Designers. She is currently involved in various Art and Design activities. She also writes on issues related to Craft, Art, Design and Textile as Art.

 

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PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS:

1985                         Central School of Art & Design, London, UK
                                  B. A. (Hons.) in Art & Design.
                                  Major Field - constructed Textiles: Weave

1982                         Sir John Cass School of Art, London
                                  Foundation Course in Art & Design.

1979                         New Delhi Polytechnic for Women, New Delhi
                                  Diploma in Textile Design (with Distinction)
                                  Major Field - Surface Design.

 

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:


Currently                 Gopika Nath Designs

                              Design Consultancy Services:
                                  Designing and developing of fabrics
                                  Surface Design - printing, painting, batik, etc.
                                  Screen and Block printed designs for apparel, sarees and furnishings.
                                  Exclusive Designer hand painted sarees, dress material, ties and furnishing fabrics.
                                  Embroidery Designs
                                  Dress materials
                                  Constructed textiles (woven)
                                  Sarees, furnishings & floor coverings. Colour theme development.

1986                        Ravissant, Delhi
                                 Chief Textile Designer.

1983                        Courtaulds (UK), Courtelle Division
                                  Intern (Studio practicum).

1978/79                   DCM Ltd., Delhi
                                  Intern (Studio practicum), Surface Design.

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EXHIBITIONS :

2003 Sept.               Group Show - 'Performative Textures'
                               Curated by Dr. Alka Pande
                               Presented by Apparao Galleries at
                               Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre,
                               Delhi.

2001 Jan.                 Art India Inc.http://www.artindiainc.com (tehelka.com)
                               E-Gallery Exhibition.

1999 Oct/Nov.          Group Show - 'Confluence '99'
                               Vis-a-Vis, Khirki Village, Delhi.

1999 Sept/Oct.        Group Show - 'Contemporary Textile
                              Art in India'
                              British Council, Delhi.

1998 Oct/Nov.         Group show - "Painted Weaves"
                              Art Indus, Santushti Complex, Delhi.

1998 October          Group Show - 'Confluence '98'
                              Vis-a-Vis, Khirki Village, Delhi.

1998 Sept/Oct.        'Artist of the Month'
                              Vis-a-Vis, Radisson Hotel, Delhi.

1998 April               Group Show - "Beyond the Canvas"
                              Vis-a-Vis. Khirki Village, Delhi.

1997 October          "Textile Dilemmas - To be worn or to be Hung ?"
                              Exhibition of painted and embroidered Textiles
                              Academy of Fine Arts and Literature, Delhi.

1997 May               Group show of Installation Art at Qutab Colonnade,
                             Gallery Pontiac, Delhi.

1996 March/April     Study Tour/Exchange sponsored by Japan Foundation Asia
                             Centre Interaction with Asian Textile Design experts in
                             Tokyo, Kyoto and Okinawa, Japan.

1991-1993              Exhibitions of exclusive hand painted sarees and ensembles
                             in Delhi and Bombay.

1985                      Participated in House & Garden "Young Designer of the
                             Year" exhibition in London.

 

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FEATURES :

                   Television
                       Zee TV (Manasi)
                       EL TV (EL Look)
                       DD Metro (Style Today) - Also telecast on BBC
                       Worldwide.

                   Print Media - Newspapers
                       Delhi Times
                       Saturday Times
                       Hindustan Times
                       The Statesman
                       Mid-day (Delhi & Bombay)
                       Sunday Mail
                       Indian Express - Sunday Magazine
                       Indian Express - Saturday (Habitat)

                  Print Media - Magazines
                      First City
                      City Scan (Cover Feature)
                      Women's Era

 

 

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PUBLICATIONS:

Embroidery Magazine (U.K)

Art India

Discover India (Media Transasia)

Swagat (Media Transasia)

Life Positive Magazine
Monthly Column - 'Spirit'

Dataquest

'I' (Quarterly of the Visual arts) India Habitat Centre.

Art India Inc.http://www.artindiainc.com/art (tehelka.com)

Indian Design & Interiors (Media Transasia)

Indian Express

Times of India

Hindustan Times
Articles on Textiles/ Craft/ Design related issues

La Mode International as Fashion Consultan
Contributed articles on various Fashion issues.

Elite (Media Transasia Publication)
Features on Current fashion trends and designers.

 

MEMBERSHIP OF PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS:

The Chartered Society of Designers, UK - Diploma Member 1984 to 1994

Surface Design Association, U.S.A. - Member

 

FELLOWSHIPS:

2000                 Fulbright Fellowship for Visual and Plastic Arts.

 

MEMBER SELECTION COMMITTEE:

Heimtextil (Frankfurt) Fair participant/Agency Selection
(ACASH)

National Centre for Textile Design
(Ministry of Textiles).

Master Craftsman Award

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LECTURES/AUDIO-VISUAL PRESENTATIONS:

August 2003            UNITED STATES EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION IN INDIA,
                              New Delhi, collaboration with India Habitat Centre.
                              An Introduction to Fiber (a 5 day inter-collegiate
                              intensive workshop).

March 2003             BRITISH COUNCIL, New Delhi
                               Return to Tradition (Lecture, demonstration cum workshop on