Today’s blog focusses on two exhibitions featuring textiles from South and Central America.
Exhibition dates: 21 June – 8 September 2019
A proto-Nazca culture tapestry. Photo courtesy of Paul Hughes Fine Art.
The first of these is Weavers of the Clouds: Textile Arts of Peru which recently opened at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London. This exhibition has traditional textiles on one floor and those by contemporary designers on another. Running alongside the main exhibition is a display entitled A Thread: Contemporary Art of Peru, which showcases the work of seventeen Peruvian artists.
Hugh Thomson, the author of Cochineal Red, has written a very interesting article about this exhibition for The Design Edit. In it he stresses the importance textiles have always had in Peruvian culture and how when the “conquistadors arrived in 1532, they could not understand why so many Inca warehouses were stocked with textiles rather than gold or silver, which the indigenous people considered less valuable.” Among the many highlights of the exhibition are thirteen pieces from the British Museum, a hat which dates to 600 AD and a tunic made of macaw feathers.
Some of the pieces from Peruvian artists such as Meche Correa and Chiara Macchievello are simply stunning, with intricate embroidery and weaving techniques. A dress that was inspired by Peruvian designs, but was actually part of a Vivienne Westwood collection, also features.
Floral skirt designed by Meche Correa. Photo © Momtaz Begum-Hossain.
For full details of opening hours and how to book visit the website of the Fashion and Textile Museum.
Location: Fashion and Textile Museum. 83 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3XF
Exhibition dates: 21 July – 13 October 2019
The second exhibition is on at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles and looks at Mayan Traje: A Tradition in Transition. This exhibition explores how the clothing of the Maya of Guatemala was once specific to each village, and how and why that is changing over time.
Photo © Rachael Myrow/KQED
Rachael Myrow has written an article for KQED Arts giving more background to how this exhibition came about and the links to Mayan people who now call San Francisco their home. Many of the textiles on display come from private collections and date to the early twentieth century.
For full details visit the website of the museum.
Location: Turner and Gilliland Galleries, San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, 520 S. First Street, San Jose, California.