BHUBANESWAR: The Sun Temple at Konark has been sources of inspiration for many. Poets have written several poems being inspired by the rich heritage and architectural marvel of the black pagoda.
Sharda Parmeswaran’s visit to the Sun Temple was a turning point in her life after she got fascinated by the artistic marvel of the state.
Sharda, who hails from Kerala, was enamoured of the tribal arts of Odisha and has been creating a line of sarees that bear Odisha’s artistic imprint. The designer clothing has found global patronage.
“Long ago I visited Konark, and I was deeply overwhelmed with the arts when I watched sculpture there and others crafts made by artists of Odisha. Since then I decided to make similar art on clothes,” she said to a local newspaper.
The motifs that Sharda reproduces on to sarees include those from Pattachitra, drawings of ancient musical instruments, mudras from Odissi dance, birds and other aspects related to Odisha.
She has been in Odisha for the past eight years and has already exhibited her works in 20 countries, including USA, London, China, Singapore, and Spain.
She first experimented with art on her handkerchief, then on scarves and dupattas. When people started liking these, she moved on to incorporating them on sarees. The price of her designer sarees ranges from Rs. 2000 to Rs. 20,000 and basset up a showroom near the Market Building that deals with handicrafts, stitching and embroidery work of Odisha.
“My team and I work on different materials including silk, crepe, patta and upada silks. We take ten days to complete work on a single saree, and 90 workers are involved in each creation,” Sharda said.
She said that the business involves 50 women. The maker of these designer sarees also gives training to women and employs them in her own business.
“We offer training for 3 to 6 months, and as they become skilled, I employ them so that they can earn a livelihood,” Sharda said.