From the flower shop is a digital exhibition that focuses on the history of Phulkari and the  internal and external forces that dictated the fate of the craft.




FROM THE FLOWER SHOP



Link to the digital exhibition

Exhibition design
Print design
Research project
Multi-Lingual design

Conceptualization
From the Flower Shop was my capstone project which concluded my time at UArts. It was a 2 semester long process which started by researching the topic of my capstone, Phulkari. My main motivation throughout this project was the idea that great art is something that makes the unseen, be more visible. I decided to focus on Phulkari as my topic because it has been something that I interacted with Phulkari my whole life and I started to wonder what it was, and where it had come from. I used this project as a way to try and better understand Punjab and my roots.

Process
I started my research by just looking up what Phulkari was, and what I found was that it is characterized by short darn stitches and it’s most recognizable motif is the flower. Phulkari is a compound word phul means 'flower' and akari means 'shape'. Phulkari meant the shape/direction of flowers which symbolized life. 

Throughout my process I kept running into the issue of a lack of detailed sources and I would keep doing research I discovered that the reason behind the lack of sources was the communal violence that broke out because of the British Raj and The Partition of 1947. I wanted to communicate the immense shift in life that the colonial power brought upon Punjab and how it affected not only Phulkari but also how it touched the lives of those who lived under the occupation. I decided on using a flower motif as the center of my design, however through abstracting the flower I sought to communicate to the audience the lack of sources in my research and also represent my position as the child of immigrants who is looking in from an outside position that, by nature, cannot fully capture the realities of Punjab.

Production
While working on the final product for my capstone I needed to work on a scale much larger than I was used to. This caused me to question the methods I would use to visually communicate how you should go though the exhibit. I was also working on a short catalogue to go alongside the digital exhibit and to keep a consistent visual identity across those two very different scales was definitely a challenge. To signify the immense loss of life and cultural heritage there are next to no flower motifs on the wall while on the walls that pertain to the colonial era.

Conclusion
Working on this project taught me a lot about myself and where I come from. I gained a newfound appreciation for the craft through working on this. I liked being able to dip my toes into museum and exhibition design while also working on print material and formats I am more accustomed to.


⎈ Philadelphia Pennsylvania, USA