You wait ages for an update and then two come at once!
Following their research trip to the Indonesian island of Kisar last autumn, OATG members David and Sue Richardson have just uploaded a new section on the current state of textile production there to their website, Asian Textile Studies.
This new section looks at the textiles of the two different communities – the Meher and the Oirata – and includes a short video of how they spin using a small basket. It also discusses the unusual way they outline the warp ikat motifs after they are woven. They hope you enjoy reading it here
Exhibition dates: 23 February – 8 July 2018
Western scholars and artists converged on the tropical island of Bali, Indonesia, in the first half of the 20th century attracted by its unique culture and vibrant artistic practices. This exhibition considers the making and use of textiles as ceremonial objects that operate within a unique Balinese Hindu cosmology while exploring the role of textiles as symbols of cultural resilience and continuity.
On view will be exquisite and rare pieces assembled from collections in the United States, including examples from the American Museum of Natural History that were collected by anthropologists Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson during their fieldwork in Bali. Deriving their aesthetic and ritual powers from techniques of fabrication and use in various lifecycle ceremonies, these textiles also serve as records of an important period in Balinese history.
Drawing on information from the 1930s and recent research, the exhibition presents an overview of Balinese textiles and encourages visitors to consider the value of these objects as they are made and used today.
For more information visit the website of the Bard Gallery, New York
OATG members David and Sue Richardson have just uploaded a new section on Lau Wuti Kau – tubeskirts from the island of Sumba decorated with shells – to their website, Asian Textile Studies.
This is very comprehensive and covers the history and distribution of shell decoration throughout the area, how they were used, and of course the fascinating motifs created using shells. They hope you enjoy reading it here
“For a Dong family, having a loom is just as important as having a cow,” said Lai Lei, the founder of a weaving and dyeing co-op in a nearby village. “As children, we grow up listening to the sound of the loom.”
This article looks at the attempts to keep the tradition of indigo dyeing and polishing alive in Guizhou province, southern China. The cloth is dyed evry day for two weeks and then has an application of either cowhide extract or egg whites. The shine is achieved by hitting the cloth repeatedly with a wooden mallet. Deep indigo-stained hands are a badge of honour.
To read the full article please visit the website of The New York Times
Exhibition dates 7 February – 13 May 2018
Artistry in Silk celebrates the work of Itchiku Kubota (1917–2003), an innovative artist whose spectacular creations gave new meaning to the art of kimono. He brought new life to a 16th -century decorative technique known as tsujigahana, a combination of resist-dyeing techniques and ink-drawing that was once thought lost forever. In his subsequent production of sumptuously beautiful kimono that featured ‘Itchiku tsujigahana,’ the artist’s adaptation of this art form expanded contemporary ideas of surface design and assured Kubota a legacy as an out-of-the-ordinary artist and artisan whose work stimulated the mind and delighted the eye.
The exhibition presents 41 kimono designed and produced by the artist over three decades, from 1976 to his death in 2003.
There are some stunning high-resolution images on the museum website which load very slowly – your patience will be rewarded!
For more information visit the website of the Textile Museum of Canada, Toronto.
© Peggy Reeves Sanday
Event date: Wednesday 13 December, 7pm
This is an Oriental Rug and Textile Society event.
Bernhard and Erika Bart from Switzerland have a personal project to revitalise the art of silk brocade ‘Songket’ weaving. They will talk about their work, research and the culture in which they live. Photos of the Barts have been on the front page of the Jakarta Post with the headline ‘Bernhard Bart and Erika Dubler: Unconditional Love for Songket’. They are bringing textiles to show us.
The talk will be held at St James Conference Room, 197 Piccadilly, London W1J 9LL.
The Conference Room entrance is in the Church Place passageway, which runs between Jermyn Street and Piccadilly. There is a wrought iron gate signed ‘Church Hall Conference Room’ leading downstairs. Drinks and snacks will be served.
Piccadilly Circus tube is 5 minutes’ walk, and Green Park Tube is 10 minutes’ walk. There is free parking in St James Square after 6.30pm.
Please note this is an Oriental Rug and Textile Society event, but non-members are welcome to attend: £7 single lecture, £5 students, or choose £20 for one year’s membership (11 events).
For more information, visit the website of the Oriental Rug and Textile Society.
Researchers in Sweden have found Arabic characters woven into burial garments from Viking boat graves. The discovery raises new questions about the influence of Islam in Scandinavia.
The clothing was kept in storage for more than 100 years, dismissed as typical examples of Viking Age funeral clothes. But a new investigation into the garments – found in ninth and tenth-century graves – has thrown up groundbreaking insights into contact between the Viking and Muslim worlds. Patterns woven with silk and silver thread have been found to spell the words ‘Allah’ and ‘Ali’.
The breakthrough was made by textile archaeologist Annika Larsson of Uppsala University while re-examining the remnants of burial dress from male and female boat and chamber graves originally excavated in Birka and Gamla Uppsala in Sweden in the late nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries.
To read about this discovery in full, visit the BBC website.
Event date: Wednesday 6 December 2017, 6–7:45pm
Talk by Bernhard and Erika Bart
Bernhard and Erika Bart will talk about their twenty years researching Sumatran Songket (brocade) weaving and twelve years spent in charge of weaving at their Palantaloom studio. They will discuss Songket patterns and techniques and will show some old textiles as well as new ones woven at Studio Songket Palantaloom.
Location: The Pauling Centre, 58a Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6QS.
OATG events are free for members and £3 for non-members. Advance booking is recommended.
Should you require disabled access, please do get in touch beforehand to make sure the adequate provisions are made.
For more information, and to book a place at this event, visit the Eventbrite page.
OATG members David and Sue Richardson have been working hard recently on the textiles of Kisar Island, Indonesia, and have uploaded the first two parts of what is intended to be a three-part section to their website, Asian Textile Studies. They hope you enjoy reading it.
Part I is available here, and Part II is available here. There is a great deal of well-researched, detailed historical information available here, both on the culture and textiles of Kisar, and it’s very well illustrated. I recommend taking a look!
Thanks for making this information available, David and Sue!