Exhibition: The Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic world

19th century headdress from Palestine

The newly opened Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic world represents an exciting new vision, displayed across two magnificent refurbished galleries at the heart of the British Museum, London. The British Museum’s Islamic collection comprises a broad and diverse spectrum of the material culture produced from the seventh century to the present day in the Islamic world, a series of regions stretching from West Africa to Southeast Asia. From archaeological material to contemporary art, from the paintings and vessels made for royal patrons to the evocative objects of daily life, this new Gallery brings together the stories of interconnected worlds across time and geography.

There is a huge amount of information available on the website of the British Museum. This includes blogs on conservation, information on how the collection was formed and, perhaps most importantly, the opportunity to view every single object from the Gallery. You can do a general search, or view the objects contained in each case, such as Case 4 Islam in Africa: Kano to Zanzibar. This is indeed a fascinating rabbit hole to get lost down……

 

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Event: Empowering Fabrics – Aboriginal Screen-printed textiles from Australia’s Top End

 

 

Event date: Saturday 20 October 2018, 10am

This lecture by Joanna Barrkman will explore the phenomenon of how artists in remote Aboriginal Australian communities have embraced screen-printing on textiles as a contemporary art practice as they work in locally owned and operated art centres on their traditional lands. Each art centre has developed its own style of printed fabrics as well as distinctive approaches to printed fabric production and distribution. This lecture will convey how, over the past three decades, Indigenous Australian artists have taken command of textile printing designs and technology to a point of mastery. This mastery of technique empowers artists and printers to confidently retell, transmit, revitalise and share ancient iconography, knowledge and connection to land, in contemporary and inventive ways.

The screen-printed textiles featured in this presentation originate from five art centres and demonstrate the resilience of Aboriginal Australian culture and the perseverance of Indigenous artists as they create extraordinary textile art in often harsh and remote environments using the simplest of facilities. Examples of printed textiles from public and private collections will be featured.

Location: Koret Auditorium, de Young Museum, San Francisco

For further details visit the website of the Textile Arts Council

Event: Textiles from the Arab World collected by Jenny Balfour-Paul

Event date: Tuesday 27 November 2018

Julia Nicholson, Curator and Joint Head of Collections Management, Pitt Rivers Museum and Abigael Flack, Collections Officer, will lead this viewing of some fantastic textiles from the collection of Jenny Balfour-Paul, as well as explaining the role of voluntary community curators in the Multaka Oxford project.

For more information on the type of textiles on view have a look at this blog post written by Abigael,  Textiles from the Arab World: A dress from Palestine. Don’t forget to click on the images to see the enlarged versions of this dress with its red silk embroidery featuring couching and cross-stitch.

Location: Pitt Rivers Museum (South entrance, from South Parks road)

Time: from 4 pm refreshments, 4.30 – 6 p.m. talks and viewing.

Admission is free for OATG members, and £3 for non-members (payment at the door).

Exhibition: The Fabric of India

Exhibition dates: 19 October 2018 – 6 January 2019

Discover the richness of Indian textiles from the fifteenth century to today in The Fabric of India, on view at the Cincinnati Art Museum 19 October 19, 2018 – 6 January, 2019. Organised by the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum in London, this exhibition showcases the finest examples from the V&A’s world-renowned collection together with masterpieces from international partners, leading fashion and textile designers and additions from the Cincinnati Art Museum’s permanent collection.

Handmade textiles are embedded in every aspect of India’s identity and the history of these fabrics dates back at least 6,000 years. Long before Europeans landed on the shores of the subcontinent, Indians were using indigenous resources to create colourful textiles desired around the world. Handwoven, printed, dyed and embellished fabrics were so central to the subcontinent’s character that in ancient Greece and Babylon the very name “India” was shorthand for “cotton.” Today a lively textile and fashion industry thrives in India.

The exhibition is organised in six thematic sections, exploring courtly splendour exemplified by sumptuous fabrics and dress alongside finely crafted sacred cloth used for religious worship. Centuries of global trade shaped by the export of Indian textiles is examined, illustrating a robust aesthetic exchange between artisans and their clients. The political power of textiles is considered through their use as a symbol of power and protest in the quest for independence in the early twentieth century.

Today, Indian designers and artists are adapting traditional techniques to create exciting new fashion, art and design for a global audience, giving India’s textile history a new relevance in the modern world. Innovative dress by contemporary fashion designers, including Manish Arora, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Abraham and Thakore, Rahul Mishra, Aneeth Arora and others will be on display.

For more information visit the website of the Cincinnati Art Museum

A one-day Symposium will also be held on 16 November featuring OATG founder Ruth Barnes. Click here for more details.

Event: World Textile Day – West of England (Bristol)

 

 

Event date: Saturday 6 October. 10:00 – 16:30.

When the World Textile Day experts held their first event in Saltford in 2014, they had no idea what a great venue they had found. Their hosts – the Saltford Community Association – couldn’t be more enthusiastic. As a bonus, Saltford prides itself in being a ‘fair trade village’ – a perfect fit for their fair trade ethos. The featured speaker at this final World Textile Day of 2018 will be Bob Irwin, an expert in African beads.

FREE admission to an exhibition of woven, printed and embroidered textiles.

FAIR TRADE MARKET from makers, workshops and villages around the world

  • 11 am PRESENTATION. Bob Irwin – author, collector, textile and bead trader. Beauty and the Bead: Community Bead Making in West Africa.
  • 2 pm A FAVOURITE TEXTILE. The experts discuss one of their most treasured textiles. Plus: a short talk.
  • £3 per session or £5 for both, tickets at the door
  • Specialist world textiles traders
  • Disabled access
  • Free parking

For more information on this event at Saltford near Bristol visit the World Textile Day website. 

Article: Conserving a suit of Samurai armour

DF3CE811-B0E5-43EA-BD96-AC7256E719C6The Department of Asia of the British Museum has recently acquired a fine set of Japanese samurai armour and accessories dating from the 1700s. During the Edo period (1615-1868), Japan was largely at peace, so armour was more for ceremonial occasions than for battle. It was a beautifully decorative ensemble of finely crafted materials, including metal, lacquer, textile, leather and horn.

Each of these presented different challenges for the team of conservators at the British Museum. In this article Organics conservator Tania Desloge discusses how some of these challenges were met. Wood, horn, metal, textiles and lacquer all needed to be treated differently, and then a special mount had to be made to showcase this fascinating acquisition.

To read the full article and see more images of the conservation work click here

To find out more about the newly refurbished Japanese Galleries click here

Event: Kimonos for Foreigners – issues of cross-cultural appropriation and appreciation of the kimonos made for the western market

 

Event date: Tuesday 2 October 2018, 16:15 – 18:00.

In the late nineteenth century, whilst Japanese goods were becoming more prevalent throughout Europe and America, kimonos, considered as “the heart of Japanese culture,” were, too, widely available to shoppers in the West. “Kimonos for Foreigners” were kimonos designed specifically for the western wearer to enjoy as a tea gown, dressing gown, or as a costume for the theatre performance or fancy balls. This talk by Allie Yamaguchi will trace the ways in which these export kimonos were very different in design and shape from the original kimono while introducing some of the surviving “Kimonos for Foreigners.”

The talk will be preceded by a viewing of related material from the Ashmolean Museum collection selected by the OATG chairman Aimée Payton and the curator for Japanese Art at the Ashmolean, Oxford, Dr Clare Pollard.

Location: Ashmolean Museum Jameel Centre Study Room 1 (viewing) & Education Centre (Talk)

Click here for more details and how to book.

Event: World Textile Day North

 

 

Event date: Saturday 29 September, 2018. 10:00 – 16:30.

The penultimate World Textile Day of 2018 will be held at Frodsham in Cheshire. The free exhibition and world textiles experts will focus on how families, villages and communities around the world co-operate to produce their wonderful textiles. There are sure to be fabulous textiles from around the globe from OATG member John Gillow, Slow Loris, Textile Traders, the African Fabric Shop, Tukuru Textiles, and Susan Briscoe Designs.

FREE admission to the exhibition of woven, printed and embroidered textiles.

FAIR TRADE MARKET from makers, workshops and villages around the world

  • 11 am PRESENTATION.  Jim Gaffney – textile trader, collector and traveller. Many Hands Make Light Work: Incredible Handmade Asian Textiles.
  • 2 pm A FAVOURITE TEXTILE. The experts discuss one of their most treasured textiles. Plus: a short talk.
  • £3 per session or £5 for both, tickets at the door
  • Specialist world textiles traders
  • Disabled access
  • Free parking

For more details of this event visit the World Textile Day website

Event: Science of Sacred Art

 

 

Event dates: Thursday 4 October – Saturday 6 October 2018

This two-day seminar at the University of San Francisco Center for Asia Pacific Studies – with lectures, site visits, and receptions—will provide a rare opportunity for the hands-on study of Himalayan thangkas. Participation by scholars, artists, museum professionals, art conservators, Buddhist community members, art collectors, and university students is welcomed. The programme will include close study of thangkas with lectures, group discussions, and curated visits to local temples and museums.

The work of art conservator and cultural emissary Ann Shaftel is at the forefront in the field of thangka conservation worldwide.  USF will share her over four decades of experience working with museums, as well as the monasteries and repositories of the Himalayan world community. In addition to her conservation practice, Ann is a renowned teacher of international workshops to disseminate knowledge for the conservation of sacred arts in the US, Canada, Europe, Bhutan, Nepal, India and China. She is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation, and Fellow of the International Institute for Conservation.

For more information please contact Joyce Hulbert, textileart@sbcglobal.net, or John Nelson, nelsonj@usfca.edu. Register by Wednesday, Oct. 3.

Event: Chinese Indigo Dyeing

 

Event date: Wednesday 19 September, 19:00.

This event, run by the Oriental Rug and Textile Society, features John Abbate of Bluehanded talking about how the  ancient cultural heritage of hand-printed fabrics has a rich history and exciting contemporary future. Artisanal traditions of naturally dyed indigo ‘Lan Yin Hua Bu’ textiles are used for interior decor and fashion design. All the work is done by the hands of an Indigo Master and his family using locally sourced materials, which makes the fabric sustainable and ethical.

The dyeing technique, which has been unchanged for centuries, involves applying traditional hand-cut decorative patterns to natural cotton. Coating the fabric in soybean and lime paste, before soaking in specially formulated vat dyes, gives the timeless blue and white finish. Traditionally used as wedding gifts in the form of bedding and cloth bags, the patterns bestow auspicious wishes such as good luck, long life and wellbeing.

After 25 years of retail design experience with Ralph Lauren, Levi’s and Alfred Dunhill John moved to China as a retail brand consultant where he stumbled upon a beautiful blue and white cloth in the rubble of a Hutong in China. This discovery served as a starting point for his textile company. To John, luxury is in the unique perfect imperfection, individuality and craftsmanship that goes into the making each length of fabric. He works with designers to create new patterns that keep the ancient traditions alive.
For more details visit the website of the Oriental Rug and Textile Society

 

Location:  St James Piccadilly Conference Room, 197 Piccadilly, London W1J 9LL