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Art and Design Travel

Read Patterns of India

Read Patterns of India by Christine Chitnis

It’s the trip of a lifetime–a textile-based tour of colorful Rajasthan, India featuring more than 200 lush photographs depicting everday life in one of the most vibrant rregions in the world.

Patterns of India is a visual experience that offers intimate insights into the diverse and richly hued Western Indian culture. Color is the thread that binds the vast country together, defining every aspect of life from religion and politics to food and dress. Organized by the five dominant colors royal blue, sandstone, marigold, ivory, and rose, this book explores how deeply color and pattern exist in a symbiotic relationship and are woven into every part of the culture. For instance, the fuchsia found in the draping fabric of a sari is matched by the vibrant chains of roses offered at temple, and the burnt orange spices in the marketplaces are reflected in the henna tattoos given to brides and wedding guests. While every color is imbued with meaning, it is often within the details of patterns that the full story comes to light.

This book wasn’t quite what I was expecting, based on the title. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it was named differently. I went in hoping for a focus on patterns in clothing, architecture, and artwork, a visual reference for graphic design and illustration inspiration. Some elements of those are included but the focus is more on everyday life. The color dividers didn’t totally work for me, either. Some of the essays were interesting but again just not quite what I had been wanting out of the book.

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at tracy.durnell@gmail.com. She/her.

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