Research as Practice 2.6

A Lecture by Judy Frater

02 June 2022, 7:00 pm IST

Zoom Webinar ID: 826 6720 0644
Live on Zoom, Facebook & YouTube

Kiran Nadar Museum of Art presents the second segment of the online lecture series ‘Research as Practice’ titled Crafting Thought with its sixth and final lecture ‘Learning Together: Co-creating Education’ by Judy Frater.  An Ashoka Fellow and founder of the first program of design education for artisans in India, Frater discusses her applied research, over many years, in various roles and capacities, as a student of anthropology, a curator at The Textile Museum in Washington DC, and a social entrepreneur in Kutch. She takes us on a reflection of her practice so far, in terms of a continual process of listening, identifying issues, and trying out solutions.

‘Crafting Thought’ is a set of six sessions conceptualized and moderated by Annapurna Garimella take the idea of research in practice to explore how scholars, curators, publishers, and artists reflect on the way they think and shape an enquiry. Thought has to be continually and skillfully crafted and re-crafted as they engage archives, forms of art and new information. How do practitioners do this? Conversations, modes of research output and engagement with art publics evolve while people, life and world events shift. Thought is immaterial and often evanescent but to gain gravity as an idea and then seed an enquiry, it must be crafted. In the crafting of research practices, accident, intuition, intention, will, desire and fear play important roles. The conversations in this series seek to engage committed practitioners in a discussion about how they work to think.

KNMA initiated the ‘Research as Practice’ lecture series in February 2021, and has welcomed the likes of Hammad Nasar, Grant Watson, Nida Ghouse, Saira Ansari and Alexander Keefe. The series invites researchers, curators and artists to share and discuss their individual research practices, inventive forms and manifestations of research. It attempts to address the complexities of research-forms, be it as ‘research-exhibition’, creative research, curatorial, artistic or post-institutional research, or artworks as knowledge-systems. This program is conceptualised and organised by Akansha Rastogi, Senior Curator, KNMA.

Judy Frater is a social entrepreneur steeped in the world of contemporary textile artisans of Kutch. Her work emphasizes the value of artisan designers. Frater lived in Kutch for 30 years, during which she co-founded and operated Kala Raksha Trust, a cooperative for women embroiderers, established the Kala Raksha Textile Museum, and with an Ashoka Fellowship founded Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya, the first design school for traditional artisans. In 2014, to expand the design education program to an institute, Frater joined the K.J. Somaiya Gujarat Trust to launch Somaiya Kala Vidya. Frater is the author of Threads of Identity: Embroidery and Adornment of the Nomadic Rabaris and The Art of the Dyer in Kutch. Prior to residing in India, she was Associate Curator of the Eastern Hemisphere Collections at the Textile Museum, in Washington, DC.

Annapurna Garimella is an art historian and designer who researches medieval Indic architecture and visual and built cultures in India after Independence. She heads Art, Resources and Teaching, a research library dedicated to projects and teaching in the visual, built and performing arts and Jackfruit Research and Design, which specialises in research and curation for the arts. Her recent books are the co-edited The Contemporary Hindu Temple (Marg, 2019) and the upcoming The Long Arc of South Asian Art in honour of art historian Vidya Dehejia (Women Unlimited, 2022). Digesting the Past: The Discourse of Sacralized Architectural Renovation in Southern India is her manuscript in preparation.



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