Director, Mango Tree, Noida
Anjana Somany has extensively worked as a researcher, specializing in the area of Art History and connects her subject to the living craft traditions of India. Her experience at the grass roots level in the area of crafts and textiles began in 1987 as Founding Committee Member of the Crafts Council of Andhra Pradesh. She is currently the President of the Delhi Crafts Council. As head of various organizations of repute, such as National Past President FICCI Ladies Organization, she has worked for the empowerment of women in business at the top, middle and grassroots level. As a design student, she brings her design experience to her field of work. She leads specially curated study tours related to culture, craft heritage and art history, accompanied by scholars. An alumni of School of Oriental and African Studies, London, she has presented several papers, some of which include those at the International WEFT Art Symposium in London, and at Dar-Al-Athar in Kuwait, among others.
She has also been the curator of several historically researched exhibitions held in South Africa, Ethiopia, Chennai and Delhi. These include: ‘Indigo: The Magical Dye’; ‘Painted Narratives from India: Preserving History through the Art of Story-Telling’, both held in South Africa; ‘Seeds, Beads and Silver’, at the Africa-India Summit in Ethiopia; ‘Earthwise’-India section, at Indo-Korean Natural Dyes Symposium-Chennai; Co-curator with Delhi Crafts Council of ‘Chamba Rumal: Life to a Dying Art’, held at IGNCA Delhi, and ‘Adornment Head to Toe: Indian Tribal Silver Jewellery’ held at ‘Abhushan’, a World Crafts Council event held in New Delhi; and ‘Kerala Sutra: Craft and Design’, a craft-based design project.
‘Craft Stories Under the Mango Tree’ is her latest creation which was launched in Jaipur in January 2019. This annual festival aims to discuss and address the different aspects of craft that need attention while attempting to position the living crafts traditions of India on the global market.