I was blown away by my visit to the Sanskriti Foundation today. An ethereal space devoted to nature, contemplation, and making things with one’s hands. Part of the site includes three very sensitively constructed and well-curated museums devoted to Indian terracotta, textiles, and objects of everyday life (this latter space is a series of enclosed galleries featuring everything from brass vessels to wooden chairs to decorative nut crackers!). Walking around Sanskriti, everywhere you turn, you see art. Mammoth-sized clay horses from Tamil Nadu. Mud and pigment murals from Maharasthra. Recent sculpture and installations made by one of the many artists-in-residence who live on site year round.
The entrance gate to Sanskriti opens out to a courtyard with a large banyan tree, its branches like tendrils hang heavy towards the ground, rooting into the packed mud soil beneath and creating a conduit between earth and branches and beyond that sky. Perhaps the banyan is the metaphor for this magical place: connecting the handmade – objects lovingly churned from dirt + clay + fibers + wood + ore – with other minds and hands (the many branches and tendrils of the banyan) and ultimately creating or inspiring something beyond this material world, something sacred, something truly beautiful, a community united in creativity.