Saloni Lodha presented an exhibition that was a culmination of a collaboration between Ajrakh Artisan Designers and Connecting for India in New York City in November 2023.
The exhibition Rehnuma: the Guiding Star, bridged gaps in time, space, and perspectives, presenting unique textiles handcrafted by Ajrakh Artisan Designers in Kutch, India. Program graduates of Somaiya Kala Vidya responded to the theme "Rehnuma", aiming to amplify star motifs in their Ajrakh tradition. Each designer, while using a shared repertoire, brought a unique interpretation to the theme.
Judy Frater, a pioneer in design education for traditional artisans, discussed craft traditions, creative agency restoration through education, and personal expressions in Ajrakh textiles. She emphasized the human connection in handmade crafts, highlighting the value of individual creativity. Acquiring work from an Artisan Designer, according to artisans, fosters a lasting connection as "the textile slowly wears away, we remember the person who made it."
Connecting For India was founded by SALONI as a platform dedicated to facilitating connections between Indian craft communities and global craft enthusiasts. Through collaborative projects Connecting For India links craft traditions with contemporary horizons. The platform aims to support artisans through the power of connection and camaraderie across its communities and global networks.