Exhibition dates: 12 July 2017 – 21 January 2018
Diligence and Elegance: The Nature of Japanese Textiles presents over 50 textiles and garments from the Textile Museum of Canada’s collection of nineteenth and twentieth-century artifacts made in Japan for both everyday and occasional use. Luxurious silk and gold fabrics produced in Kyoto’s professional weaving workshops are juxtaposed with domestic indigo-dyed cotton, plant-fibre cloth, and silk kimonos crafted in an astonishing spectrum of time-honoured techniques – weaving, dyeing, hand painting, gold foil application and embroidery – that exemplify venerable social and cultural values. The exhibition focuses on the highly refined skills and materials by which textiles have been constructed and decorated over centuries, and on how diligence and ingenuity have shaped their timeless beauty. The persistence of traditions seen in such rigorously executed textiles has come to embody the heart of Japanese aesthetics. Every material, colour and technique has a story to tell.
Diligence and Elegance features the contemporary work of Hiroko Karuno and Keiko Shintani, two Japanese-Canadians whose consummate craftsmanship and philosophies are profoundly connected to the evolution of Japanese textile traditions of spinning, dyeing and weaving. Their internationally renowned artistic achievements are testimony to the ethics of labour associated with a lifelong investment of time, practice and precision; they position living traditions as opportunities for personal reflection and the acknowledgement of the significance of collective human accomplishments.
For more information, visit the website of the Textile Museum of Canada, Toronto, Canada.
Event date: Wednesday 15 March 2017, 9.30 am — 11.30 am
Indigo, ‘King of Dyes’, has been in continuous use for over six millennia, traded worldwide for use as blue dye, paint pigment and medicine. Its unique chemistry makes it suited to all types of textiles, whether prestige silks or popular blue jeans, as well as paint for frescoes, manuscripts, etc.
In this richly illustrated talk, to be held at the Bodleian Library, Jenny Balfour Paul, author of three books on indigo, international lecturer and traveller, will cover all aspects of this beautiful and fascinating blue, as well as indigo’s increasing popularity as a sustainable dye.
Booking: This event is free but places are limited so please complete the online booking form to reserve tickets in advance.
For more information, visit the website of the Bodleian Library, Oxford.
Event date: Wednesday 16 November, 6 pm
Jenny Balfour Paul (of the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, Exeter University) will give an illustrated account of her adventures in the heartlands of India’s Raj, Polynesia, the South China Seas and Arabia, in search of Thomas Machell, indigo planter and explorer, whose remarkable journals she found in the British Library.
This event promises to be quite popular. The maximum capacity of the Pitt Rivers Museum Lecture Room is 70 and, rather than have to turn people away on the evening, the Friends of the Pitt Rivers have decided to set up a booking system. Tickets are free of charge, but you do need to reserve your place.
Location: Pitt Rivers Museum Lecture Room, Oxford
To book your free place at this event, visit the Eventbrite booking page.
Exhibition dates: 9 April – 9 October 2016
‘Mood Indigo: Textiles From Around the World’ honours the unique ability of the colour blue to create many moods in cloth.
Drawn primarily from the Seattle Art Museum’s global textile collection, ‘Mood Indigo’ illuminates the historic scope of this vibrant pigment.
The exhibition features a set of tapestries from Belgium, a silk court robe from China, a vast array of kimonos from Japan, batiks and ikats from Indonesia and Africa, and ancient fragments from Peru and Egypt.
An immersive contemporary installation devoted to indigo by Rowland Ricketts will be accompanied by a soundtrack by sound artist Nobert Herber that unveils the musical nuances indigo can suggest. From the sultry darkness of midnight to the vitality of a bright sky, come let the myriad blues in their multiple forms surround you.
For more information, visit the website of the Seattle Art Museum, USA.