Event: Kyrgyzstan Textile Tour

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© Kyrgyz Art Museum

The Oriental Rug and Textile Society (ORTS) are organising an exciting Textile Tour of Kyrgyzstan, visiting many of the artisans who have featured in the research of Dr Stephanie Bunn the author of Nomadic Felts. The tour will run from 6-18 June 2019, starting and ending in Bishkek. ORTS have decided to open up the last few remaining places on this tour to non-members, offering them a fabulous opportunity to learn more about the textiles of this amazing country.

Participants will gain an insight into contemporary Kyrgyz design, with visits to Vorotnika Studio and Dilbar Fashion House in Bishkek,

Clothes from Dilbar Fashion House modelled in Jakarta. © Dilbar Fashion House

as well as the more traditional use of patterns with many visits to expert craftsmen across the country. These will include the opportunity for a masterclass on weaving in Sary Mogol

Making a shyrdak. © southshorekg.com

and feltmaking at the Golden Thimble workshop in Bokonbaevo. In 2014 this NGO, founded by Janyl Bayisheva, received a UNESCO Award recognising the excellence of their handicrafts.

Working on a shyrdak. © southshorekg.com

Through their contacts ORTS have been able to arrange for the group to have dinner with Zhyldyz Asanakunova, the head of the Felt Art Group in Bokonbaevo. Zhyldyz is recognised internationally for her shyrdaks – the felt rugs with powerful motifs seen throughout Kyrgyzstan.

© Kyrgyz Art Museum

Other special dinners will take place in traditional nomadic dwellings known as yurts. Accommodation will be in hotels, homestays and guesthouses.

This is a fantastic opportunity to take part in a very adventurous trip, experiencing the best crafts that Kyrgyzstan has to offer under expert guidance. To find out more please email Louise Teague (ORTS Chairperson).

 

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Exhibition: Turkestan Journey

Asia House - Turkestan Journey

Exhibition dates: 19 April – 12 May 2016

Turkestan Journey is an exhibition of traditional jewellery and textiles from Central Asia, dating from the nineteenth to the early twentieth century, from the collection of Almaly Company from Kazakhstan.

The collection was started just twenty years ago and encompasses the works of craftsmen from Western Kazakhstan, who embodied the very finest traditions of national jewellery making and art, as well as accessories from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, the Karakalpak area and Kyrgyzstan. It also includes elaborately embroidered robes from Bukhara and national costumes from Tajikistan and Turkmenistan regions as well as filigree belts from Crimean Tatars.

This jewellery differs significantly from region to region with each tribe having its own ornament and chosen semi-precious stones. For instance, jewellery from Khorezm may be distinguished by its carnelians and large round corals inset within pendants and necklaces. Turquoise, pearls and mother-of-pearl were beloved stones of the jewellery-makers of Khorezm and Bukhara.

The exquisite items selected for this exhibition (almost 60) represent all types of ornaments worn in this part of the world during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The full and amazing diversity of Central Asia is laid bare here: from the richly decorated head bands of Uzbekistan and large silver gilt heart-shaped hair ornaments of Turkmenistan to the richly patinated and time-worn stylish silver Kazakh rings.

This private collection, comprising more than one thousand different types of jewellery and textiles from Central Asia, is of great importance to the development and understanding of cultural identity. Not only is it vivid evidence of the preservation of valuable museum pieces, but also a chance to see the cumulative and cultural experience gathered by the artisan jewellery-makers of the region throughout their rich and varied history.

A talk to accompany this exhibition will take place at Asia House on 26 April. The evening talk is free to attend but booking is essential.

For more information, please visit the website of Asia House, London.

Exhibition: Old Patterns, New Order

GW Textile Museum - Old-Patterns-Carpet-Weavers

Exhibition dates: 10 October 2015 – 29 May 2016

Under Soviet political rule, artists across Central Asia created images that both embraced modernity and idealised the past. This exhibition examines the socialist realist art movement in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and other areas of Central Asia, pairing twentieth-century paintings with examples of the traditional textiles they depict.

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