Sapna Karn’s Textile Art Weaves Together Threads Of Tradition and Emotion

Sapna Karn is a contemporary artist involved in painting, textile art, graffiti, and art therapy, focusing on sustainable art.
Sapna Karn is a contemporary artist involved in painting, textile art, graffiti, and art therapy, focusing on sustainable art. Sapna Karn

Sapna Karn is a contemporary artist involved in painting, textile art, graffiti, and art therapy, focusing on sustainable art. Since 2016, she has dedicated herself to refining a distinctive approach to crafting art using scraps of discarded clothes found with tailors or small-scale industries. This art form is also known as Katran art, and in a world where over 15 million tonnes of textile waste accumulates annually, Sapna is committed to repurposing this waste into captivating artwork, preventing it from contributing to landfill pollution. 

Currently based in Delhi, her journey took a profound turn when she discovered her muse in the marginalised children in observation and juvenile homes. Utilising fabric as her medium, she embarked on a mission to give voice to these often-overlooked individuals, crafting visual narratives that spoke volumes without needing conventional paint and brushes. Inspired by the rich heritage of Indian textiles, she wove together threads of tradition and innovation, creating vibrant tapestries of emotion and imagination. Through fabric art, she found a means of self-expression and a powerful tool for advocacy and social change.

Her contemporary fabric art harnesses the potential of ready-made materials, embracing their inherent colours to craft intricate compositions. Themes of women, ageing, memory, and history emerge, reflecting social narratives. As she works, she channels her emotions and subconsciousness into the fabric. While her creations maintain representational qualities, they also celebrate the vibrant interplay of bold colours and ethnic fabrics. Through her art, she seeks to highlight these themes and motifs, weaving them into visually compelling stories that resonate with viewers emotionally and culturally. 

Her aim in creating fabric art is to bridge traditional Indian textile techniques with contemporary themes while advocating for social change and environmental consciousness. Since 2016, she has dedicated herself to empowering underprivileged children through workshops, teaching them the value of repurposing scraps into crafts. With a background in traditional drawing and painting, her exploration of textiles during her master's Program opened doors to vibrant, textured compositions. Drawing inspiration from Indian motifs and her upbringing in a household of sewing and crocheting, she crafts pieces that speak to themes of women, ageing, and broader societal issues.

Her journey in fabric art has been a continuous evolution driven by her insatiable curiosity and passion for experimentation. The medium's vast potential for exploration has kept her engaged, with its myriad textures and ready-made motifs fueling her creative fire. Beginning with portraits in 2016, she gradually expanded into figurative work, shedding her fear of artistic judgment. Venturing into landscapes and installations further broadened her artistic horizons while tackling monochromatic pieces provided both challenge and delight. She is immersed in semi-figurative works, fully embracing the medium's possibilities. Her focus has shifted from concerns about outcomes to relishing the artistic process, unencumbered by deadlines or expectations.

Each of her pieces become an opportunity for pure creative expression, where she allows herself to play and explore without inhibition. It's a journey of growth, discovery, and a deepening connection to the medium. She continues to navigate the boundless realm of fabric art with joy and enthusiasm.

Follow her work here.

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