D. V. Gajjar
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Damodar Vithaldas Gajjar is a master craftsman and artist belonging to a family of craftsmen in Pethapur, a village near Gandhinagar, Gujarat. He creates contemporary and traditional designs using tussar silk as his canvas. Textile block-making saudagiri craft originated in the Gajjar family about 200 years ago. The Gajjar family crafted blocks for block printing. Besides being a textile block making expert, he has a passion for art and it is shown in his skills with the brush, with water colours and other colours on paper and on various fabrics.
He has completed his study in painting from the faculty of fine arts, M.S. University, Baroda. He gained recognition as a textile designer and master craftsman in textile block making and printing.
He has won several awards in his area of expertise. His skills have been acknowledged in UK, Scotland (Commonwealth Institute, Edinburgh). His artistic talent was recognized in India and abroad. Exhibition of his wall hangings and his painted and printed silk fabric was held at Chicago on behalf of art league of Chicago (USA).He was invited to deliver lecture on his skills in USA. During his study he received several awards in arts, crafts, graphics and textile design. He was in the teaching panel in the textile department in the faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University, Vadodara. He has been a dignified guest at various seminars and workshops. Some of them have been mentioned below:
1. Seminar and workshop organised by Handloom Development Corporation, Government of India. The Indian weavers service center on Vegetable Dying and Printing at Vidyanagar College of Fine Arts invited him as Chief Guest for the programme.
2. Between 1983 and 1990, he visited the UK on numerous occasions and organised workshops at schools, colleges and museums in different communities in the UK on behalf of commonwealth Institute, Edinburgh.
3. He was invited to organize a permanent term workshop by the craft manager of the Scottish Development Agency at Edinburgh in 1983.
He has done work in creative designing, printing and painting on tussar and mulbari silk fabrics for private exhibitions and fashion shows. His themes and concepts have found him a place in the world of fashion. Also his water colour paintings depicting Indian village life and landscape were exhibited at Sarjan Art Gallery, Vadodara. An exhibition of wall hangings and paintings was held at the Taj Art Gallery and it received great applause from press and public.
Since 1965, he has developed a unit for textile designing, block making and block printing at Vadodara. He has been advisor for various textile mills and educational institutions in India.
He was advisor to the Gujarat State Handloom and Handicraft Development Corporation and also for Madhya Pradesh State Laghu Udyog Nigam.
He has delivered lecture on fine art of textile which was conducted by The Textile Association (India) at Baroda (2001).
He has delivered various lectures and conducted workshops for clothing and textile department, faculty of Home-Science, M.S. University, Baroda. He is rendering his service as faculty at the school of interior design (APIED), Vidhyanagar (from 2002 till date).
His views and ideas were taken by Government of India, Ministry of textiles, office of the development commissioner (Handicrafts) on Kala Shiksha activities in regional design and technical development centres of offices of DS (Handicrafts).
He has member of selection committee of Kala Raksha Sumerasar, Bhuj (Kutch) for selection of craft trainees for the year 2005-06 (for Kala Siksha Programme).
“The Observer”, a Mumbai based newspaper has applauded his art.
“The Weekend Scotsman” carried an article recognizing his block-making skills, under the heading, “The Blockmakers of India:".
Also, his work has been published in “The Times Of India” newspaper.
Exhibitions and shows
1965 – Taj Art Gallery (Show) 1967 – Taj Art Gallery (Show) 19 – Indian Graphic Art Exhibition at Poland 1983 – Exhibition at University of Edwards Ville, Southern Illinois, USA. 1983 – Exhibition at Commonwealth Institute, Scotland. 1983 – Demo. & Exhibition at Common Wealth Institution, Scotland 1985 – AICC Centenary Exhibition at Bombay 1989 – Work Exhibition at Himachal Bhavan, New Delhi. 1989 – Demo. & Exhibition at Leicester Museum. 1999 – Exhibition of Painting on Tussar silk at Nairobi (Dodhiya Group) 2002 – Conducted 3 days Workshop at Clothing & Textile Dept. (Faculty of Home Sc.), M.S. University, Baroda. One man show, 2 Group shows and Portrait Exhibition at Sarjan Art Gallery. 2008 – Allure Art Gallery (Group show)
- 1962 – Gujarat State Lalitkala Academy Award (Crafts)
- 1963 – Madhya Pradesh State Kala Parishad Award (Graphics)
- 1963 – Gujarat State Lalitkala Academy Award (Graphics)
- 1964 - Madhya Pradesh State Kala Parishad Award (Graphics)
- 1964 – Gujarat State Lalitkala Academy Award (Textile Design)
- 1974 – As an Advisor at Gujarat State Handicraft & Handloom Development Corporation
- 1982 – As Visiting Faculty at Manchester Polytechnic.
- 1983 – IESDN Trade Fair Selection Award (Gold medal)
- 1983 – As Visiting Faculty at Edinburgh College of Art.
- 1983 – As Visiting Faculty at Scottish Development Agency
- 1984 – As Visiting Faculty at Commonwealth Institute, Scotland.
- 1987 – As an Advisor at Raipur Mills, Ahmedabad.
- 1988 – As Visiting Faculty at Glassgow Council, Scotland.
- 1988 – As an Advisor at Madhya Pradesh Laghu Udhyog Nigam.
- 1989 – As Visiting Faculty at University of Leicester (Education Dept.), Northampton Shire
- 1989 – Invited to participate in an event at National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh.
- 1991 – Reproduction work for Calico Museum, Ahmedabad. (Sarabhai Foundation)
- 1997 – Invited as Chief Guest for a Seminar on Vegetable Dying & Printing at Kala Kendra College of Fine Arts, V. V. Nagar. (20 March 1997)
- 2002 – Invited as Advisor at “Kala Shiksha” by “All India Handicraft Board”, New Delhi.
- 2004 to 2007 – As Visiting Faculty at APIAD School of Environment Design.
- Nina Shah, journalist. The Sunday Observer, Mumbai