Monday, 4 March 2013

Shola pith

At the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum (Mumbai Museum, formerly the Prince of Wales Museum) in Mumbai last year, I saw this sculpture made entirely of shola pith, a white spongy plant matter that is pressed and molded into traditional crafts and works of art in West Bengal. Also known as Indian cork, the material was traditionally used for bridal headgear in a Bengali wedding. 

There's an incredible level of detail, and yet the material has its own distinct texture, which stands out in the large, smooth areas of the legs and arms.

Shola pith: the stem of the Shola (Sola) plant, from which the image is made. 

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