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Meeta Mastani

Traditional Chaubundi block prints meet the 21st century

In addition to being a textile artist, Meeta Mastani is a writer, lecturer, social activist, and even a professor. In 2016, she was an artist-in-residence at The University of Wisconsin, where she instructed students on print-making and design. For over twenty-five years, Meeta has worked in sustainability and community development. From this commitment to local communities sprang the company Bindaas Unlimited, which Meeta co-founded as a fair-trade textile and craft business. Their goal is to promote rural artisan employment and to preserve textile traditions.

This multifaceted set of interests and skills has allowed Meeta to work alongside artisans both in her native India and abroad. She especially enjoys collaborating in the realm of printmaking, which has allowed her to start online and offline retail markets, as well as offer her services as a consultant for merchandising and branding.

Meeta is a master printmaker, a skill that she applies to fabrics. For example, embellishes T-shirts and scarves with uniquely contemporary design motifs, juxtaposed with simple diamond shapes or wavy lines. The impulse to merge traditional symbols with contemporary motifs is apparent across many items designed by Meeta. This means a blouse might be playfully adorned with flip flops and umbrellas, or could have patterning that mimics traditional Indian bell tota: delicate, colorful strands of small bells and beads, interspersed with cloth bird forms. The work she brings to IFAM is the result of a block printing collaboration with Studio Chaubundi in Rajasthan.