In the year marking the 90th anniversary of Gandhi’s historic visit to Darwen, Khadi was an ambitious new installation by Bharti Parmar comprising archival images of the Mahatma’s visit, artefacts from Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery and delicate drawings and sculptures made from Khadi paper.
Khadi refers to homespun cloth promoted by Gandhi as a protest about English rule in India. It also refers to a thick cotton watercolour paper made by hand in India. The artist sourced Khadi paper from India made from recycled cotton t-shirts to reveal themes of global connections, fast fashion, labour and colonialism.
The work stemmed from Parmar’s life-long interest in textile history and her personal narrative as the daughter of an Indian immigrant textile mill worker in Yorkshire, and includes a film collaboration with award-winning, Blackburn-born film maker, Sima Gonsai.