Exhibition: Portable Storage: Tribal Weavings from the Collection of William and Inger Ginsberg

Exhibition dates: 25 September 2017 – 7 May 2018, New York

 

Woven bags carried by nomads in the Middle East were designed to contain all of the necessities of life, from bedding to salt. This exhibition highlights 19 distinctly patterned examples of woven bags from nomadic cultures in Iran, Turkey, and the Caucasus, along with one striking pile-woven saddle cover. Featuring geometric patterns as well as stylised floral and animal motifs, these textiles are both utilitarian and expressive of a highly sophisticated tribal aesthetic.  The exhibition also includes an Islamic painting from the Metropolitan Museum’s collection that illustrates bags and trappings in use in traditional society.

For more information visit the website of the Metropolitan Museum

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Article: Alive with artisans – Cairo’s al-Darb al-Ahmar district – a photo essay

 

 

“Whatever manufactured items there are in the world,” wrote the Ottoman traveller Evliya Çelebi in 1671, “the poor of Cairo get hold of them, set them out and trade in them.” Nearly 350 years later, this tradition lives on in al-Darb al-Ahmar. This neighbourhood of 100,000 people, south-east of central Cairo, is said to be home to a thousand workshops. The place teems with artisans crafting everything from tents, books, boxes and brass lanterns to glass bowls and silk carpets.

The Street of the Tentmakers captures this commercial spirit. Built in 1650 as an arcade, this covered street is a succession of workrooms whose interiors are lined with decorative textiles. From his cubic cavity in the Ottoman-era wall, a weaver called Hasan says that al-khayyamiya, the craft of tentmaking, goes back to the time of the pharaohs. Some of today’s weavers are descended from the families who would produce the kiswa, the fabric that covered the great stone at Mecca, as well as tents, cloths and saddles for those setting out on pilgrimage to Islam’s holiest site.

This article gives an excellent overview of this district of Cairo with its weavers, dyers, bookbinders, carpet makers, glass blowers and lantern makers, explaining how many of the buildings have been restored with the help of the Aga Khan Development Network.

To read the full article visit the website of the Guardian

A free exhibition of photographs entitled The artisans of al-Darb al-Ahmar: life and work in historic Cairo is also taking place from 23 March – 24 April at the Royal Geographical Society in London.

For more information visit their website here

Exhibition: Rushnyky – Sacred Ukrainian Textiles

Exhibition dates: 15 February – 3 June 2018

 

 

This exhibition celebrates and explores Ukrainian culture through one of its most ancient and valued traditions.

A rushnyk is a long, rectangular cloth, typically made from linen or hemp, which is woven in one solid piece and sometimes adorned with bright, intricate patterns. They are traditionally made by women, who start learning to spin, weave, and embroider the cloths at a very young age.

Rushnyky are ritual objects used in ceremonies from birth to death. Newborns are immediately laid on a rushnyk; intricate wedding formalities utilise several rushnyky; coffins are sometimes lowered into the ground with rushnyky.

This exhibit of over 80 rushnyky, Ukrainian icons, and related artefacts comes from the collection of Franklin Sciacca, Associate Professor of Russian Language and Literature at Hamilton College in New York.

For more information visit the website of  The Museum of Russian Icons Clinton, Massachusetts.

News: Textile Museum Journal Relaunched

After a hiatus of more than ten years, The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum are pleased to announce the relaunch of the Textile Museum Journal.

Established in 1962, the Textile Museum Journal is the leading publication for the exchange of textile scholarship in North America. The peer-reviewed journal promotes high-quality research on the cultural, technical, historical and aesthetic significance of textiles from Asian, African and indigenous American cultures. Last issued in 2004, the journal resumed annual publication last month, thanks to a Founding Patron gift from the Markarian Foundation, and is now available in an online format.

Table of Contents
Textile Museum Journal, Volume 44

Toward a Grammar of Textiles: A Reconsideration of Medieval Textile Aesthetics and the Impact of Modern Collecting
Arielle Winnik

Nomad Textile Bags from Central Asia in the 19th and 20th Centuries: Geographic Distribution, Decoration, Semantics
Irina Bogoslovskaya

Through the Renaissance Frame: Carpets and the Beginnings of ‘Islamic Art’ in Nineteenth-Century Vienna and Berlin
Denise-Marie Teece

Pope Innocent VIII’s Mamluk Carpets from Cairo in Context: Their Manufacture and Acquisition
Rosamond E. Mack

Rethinking Mamluk Carpet Origins
Gerald Pollio

For more information, visit the website of the Textile Museum, Washington DC.

Event: World Textile Day North – Frodsham, Cheshire

Event date: Saturday 23 September 2017, 10am – 4:30pm

Every year at World Textile Days around the country, the organisers explore a common theme through their free exhibition, and morning and afternoon presentations (only £3 per session). In 2017, their world textile experts will focus on the role of colour in textiles.

FREE admission to our exhibition of woven, printed and embroidered textiles from around the world.

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

Plus:

  • 11 am presentation. Magie Relph quilter, collector, textile trader and author of African Wax Print: A Textile Journey.
  • 2 pm Show & Tell. Bring and discuss your own world textile with one of our world textile experts. Plus: a short talk.
    £3 per session or £5 for both, tickets at the door.
  • Throughout the day: demonstrations by the Braid Society.

With these specialist world textile traders:

  • Textile Traders Jim and Diane Gaffney
  • The African Fabric Shop Magie Relph and Bob Irwin
  • Tukuru South American Textiles Meri Hunneyball
  • Khayamiya Egyptian Appliqué Joan and John Fisher
  • Indian Textiles – Tanya Byrne
  • Nepalese Textiles – Karen Haggis
  • Indian Silk – Suzy Rowe

Delicious refreshments provided by our hosts Frodsham Patchwork Group. Disabled access. Free parking. Station: Frodsham.

Venue: Frodsham Community Centre, Fluin Lane (B5439), Frodsham, Cheshire, WA6 7QN.

For more information, visit the World Textile Day website.

Event: World Textile Day East – Mundford, Norfolk

Event date: Saturday 9 September 2017, 10am – 4:30pm

Every year at World Textile Days around the country, the organisers explore a common theme through their free exhibition, and morning and afternoon presentations (only £3 per session). In 2017, their world textile experts will focus on the role of colour in textiles.

FREE admission to our exhibition of woven, printed and embroidered textiles from around the world.

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

Plus:

  • 11 am presentation. Jim Gaffney, textile trader, collector and traveller – The old colours are best: A resurgence in natural dyes.
  • 2 pm Show & Tell. Bring and discuss your own world textile with one of our world textile experts. Plus: a short talk.
  • £3 per session or £5 for both, tickets at the door.

With these specialist world textile traders:

  • Textile Traders – Jim and Diane Gaffney
  • The African Fabric Shop – Magie Relph and Bob Irwin
  • John Gillow
  • Slow Loris Chinese Tribal Textiles – Martin Conlan
  • Susan Briscoe Designs – Japanese Kimono and fabrics
  • Tukuru South American Textiles – Meri Hunneyball
  • Callishibori – Jane Callender

Delicious refreshments. Disabled access. Free parking. Stations: Brandon and Downham Market.

Venue: Mundford Village Hall, St Leonards Street, Mundford, near Thetford, Norfolk, IP26 5DW.

N.B. There are still two more World Textile Days to be held in Cheshire and Bristol later in September, so if you’d like to attend this event, but it’s a little too far away, you might still be able to attend a different one instead.

For more information, visit the World Textile Day website.

Event: Tribal Art London 2017

Event dates: 6 – 9 September 2017

Tribal Art London will mark its tenth year when it opens to the public on 6 September 2017 at the Mall Galleries, London.  Indigenous and tribal art and artefacts, no longer the preserve of museum curators and ethnographers, have emerged as an important element of today’s art market.  In 2007, London gallerist Bryan Reeves brought together several like-minded dealers from the international tribal art scene to create the UK’s first-ever specialist event in this field.  It has grown significantly to become a vibrant fair with 23 participants from the UK, Europe, Africa and the USA.

Tribal Art London is a focal point for art collectors, and has made its mark on the international fair circuit by offering an exciting diversity of works for sale, as well as hosting lectures and talks on many subjects relating to indigenous cultures. Tribal Art London 2017 will have a special focus on the art of tattooing and the organisers are pleased to announce that Martin Poole, a leading traditional tattooist and expert in hand-worked body art, will be present at the fair to give demonstrations of this ancient skill.

New exhibitors in 2017 include Frans Faber (Netherlands) with fine tribal arts from Indonesia, Oceania and Africa; Mark Eglington (New York); John-Paul Raad (London) with art of the Niger River region; and Emmanuel Amelot of Belgium.  They join regulars such as OATG member Joss Graham (London) with traditional textiles, costume, sculpture, ceramics, baskets and jewellery; Sam Handbury-Madin (UK) a young dealer with a fascination for tribal works from every culture; Louis Nierijnck (Netherlands) with tribal art, textiles and adornment from Africa, the Himalayas and Southeast Asia; Marcuson & Hall (Brussels), with a particular interest in fibre works and textiles from Asia and Africa; Raccanello Tribal Art (UK) with Polynesian art, and Charles Vernon-Hunt (UK), specialist in tribal art books.

The UK organisers of Tribal Art London are Adam Prout of Adam Ethnographic Art, with tribal art and artefacts from all regions of the globe, and Bryan Reeves of Tribal Gathering, expert in African tribal art and adornment.

Admission is free.

For more information, visit the Tribal Art London website.

Exhibition: Ikats, Tissus de Vie – Un Voyage de l’Orient à l’Occident

Exhibition dates: May 2017 – December 2019 (see below for precise dates and locations)

For many years, tens of books, studies and exhibitions have been dedicated to ikat across the world, in the United States, in the Asia-Pacific region, England, the Netherlands and Switzerland. But nothing, or nearly nothing, in France.

Ikats, tissus de vie is there to fill this void. This project, consisting of a book and exhibitions, offers a large panoramic of these textile creations which have fascinated so many societies, from insular Southeast Asia to Islamic territories and Western Europe.

Ikat refers to the use of resists and dyes to apply colours very precisely to threads, before weaving them to create figures that vibrate inside the cloth.

Using this complex process, several societies from across the world have managed to create a surprising visual beauty, often regarded as sacred and central to their beliefs. Exploring the memory and the territories of ikat is also a way to understand how textiles evolved in cultures and to question what they can become today.

This exhibition will take place in four different locations between May 2017 and December 2019:

• La Route du lin, near Loudéac, Brittany – 20 May to 5 November 2017

• L’Abbaye de Trizay, near Rochefort – 1 June to 12 August 2018

• Le Musée Bernard d’Agesci, Niort, Deux-Sèvres – December 2018 to March 2019

• Le Musée Bargoin, Clermont-Ferrand – June to December 2019

For more information, visit the Parole et Patrimoine website (info in French) or the Tribal Textiles forum (info in English).

Exhibition: REMINDER – Embroidered Visions – Photographs of Central Asia and the Middle East by Sheila Paine

pitt-rivers-embroidered-visions

Exhibition dates: 1 November 2016 – 30 April 2017

This is a reminder that this exhibition will be open only until the end of this month, and also that a book of the same name is now available (since 25 January), priced at £10. You can find it in the PRM shop or you can purchase it online here.

This exhibition presents a selection of photographs taken by textile expert Sheila Paine during her travels in Central Asia and the Middle East in the late 1980s and through the 1990s. The images have been chosen both to demonstrate the extent of Paine’s travelling, which has culminated in books on embroidery and other subjects, and to reveal her eye for colours and textures also evident elsewhere in her research. Photographs of Central Asia were taken in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan and the trading city of Kashgar in western China. Scenes from the Middle East include Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Turkey and, in particular, Yemen. A video screen also shows highlights of a travel documentary presented by Sheila Paine in Yemen, originally broadcast in 1996.

The photographs have been taken from assorted vantage points, sometimes from the top of a bus while travelling between towns, at other times as more intimate portraits of people encountered. Clothing depicted ranges from plain felted cloaks to elaborately embroidered Turkmen tunics. Other photographs show the material processes behind different types of textile, from spinning wool and winding silver thread, to the manufacture of fur hats and pompom horse-trappings.

The social significance of embroidery has been central to Sheila Paine’s research. This has included seeking out and photographing makers, tracking how textiles and designs migrate across distances, and understanding the meaning, especially protective amuletic functions, applied to many of the motifs. Her published travel trilogy – comprising The Afghan Amulet (1994), The Golden Horde (1997) and The Linen Goddess (2003) – was written about the journeys featured in this exhibition’s photographs, and documents her search for the origins of a triangular amuletic motif that takes her from the Hindu Kush to North Africa. Her interest in the power of such symbols and wearable talismans also resulted in the 2004 book Amulets: A World of Secret Powers, Charms and Magic. Travelling extensively since the mid-1980s, Paine acquired numerous textiles and amulets in the course of this work, many of which are now held in the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, alongside her collection of over three thousand photographs generously donated since 2012.

For more information, visit the website of the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford.

Exhibition: Embroidered Visions – Photographs of Central Asia and the Middle East by Sheila Paine

pitt-rivers-embroidered-visions

Exhibition dates: 1 November 2016 – 30 April 2017

This exhibition presents a selection of photographs taken by textile expert Sheila Paine during her travels in Central Asia and the Middle East in the late 1980s and through the 1990s. The images have been chosen both to demonstrate the extent of Paine’s travelling, which has culminated in books on embroidery and other subjects, and to reveal her eye for colours and textures also evident elsewhere in her research. Photographs of Central Asia were taken in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan and the trading city of Kashgar in western China. Scenes from the Middle East include Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Turkey and, in particular, Yemen. A video screen also shows highlights of a travel documentary presented by Sheila Paine in Yemen, originally broadcast in 1996.

The photographs have been taken from assorted vantage points, sometimes from the top of a bus while travelling between towns, at other times as more intimate portraits of people encountered. Clothing depicted ranges from plain felted cloaks to elaborately embroidered Turkmen tunics. Other photographs show the material processes behind different types of textile, from spinning wool and winding silver thread, to the manufacture of fur hats and pompom horse-trappings.

The social significance of embroidery has been central to Sheila Paine’s research. This has included seeking out and photographing makers, tracking how textiles and designs migrate across distances, and understanding the meaning, especially protective amuletic functions, applied to many of the motifs. Her published travel trilogy – comprising The Afghan Amulet (1994), The Golden Horde (1997) and The Linen Goddess (2003) – was written about the journeys featured in this exhibition’s photographs, and documents her search for the origins of a triangular amuletic motif that takes her from the Hindu Kush to North Africa. Her interest in the power of such symbols and wearable talismans also resulted in the 2004 book Amulets: A World of Secret Powers, Charms and Magic. Travelling extensively since the mid-1980s, Paine acquired numerous textiles and amulets in the course of this work, many of which are now held in the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, alongside her collection of over three thousand photographs generously donated since 2012.

For more information, visit the website of the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford.