Event: Exploration and Experimentation – Nineteenth-Century Photography of India 


Event date: Thursday 14 September, 6pm

SADACC (South Asian Decorative Arts & Crafts Collection) in Norwich, UK, invites you to an evening talk by Divia Patel, Curator, Asia Department, V&A.

Photography was introduced to India in the 1840s by European enthusiasts keen to experiment with this new technology abroad. During the following decades the development of the medium in the region was driven by war, commerce, political ambition and the pursuit of artistic excellence. In 1852 Dr John McCosh took the first photographs of Burma and just over a decade later Samuel Bourne captured the summit of the Manuring pass in the Himalayas. Using the V&A archives, this illustrated lecture will explore these and other fascinating stories behind some of the most important photographs of the region.

Divia Patel is Senior Curator for the Asian Department of the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), London. Divia is well known for her research on photography and film in India, and also for working with textiles and fashion, including her work for the recent Fabric of India exhibition at the V&A.

This is a free event and refreshments will be provided.

Please RSVP by Friday 8 September to info@sadacc.co.uk, or phone 01603 663890.

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Exhibition: Lockwood Kipling – Arts and Crafts in the Punjab and London

va-john-lockwood-kipling

Exhibition dates: 14 January – 2 April 2017

Explore the life, work and lasting impact of John Lockwood Kipling (1837–1911), an artist, teacher, curator and influential figure in the Arts and Crafts movement. Lockwood Kipling was a social campaigner for the preservation of the Indian crafts, a craftsman whose terracotta panels can still be seen on the exterior of the V&A and an illustrator of books by his son, the renowned writer Rudyard Kipling.  This exhibition uncovers the history of the V&A’s collections through the life of Lockwood Kipling who played a significant role in shaping the foundation collection.  Highlights include paintings of the Indian section of the Great Exhibition, designs and illustrations for books, and furniture designed for royal residences Bagshot Park and Osborne.

For more information, visit the website of the V&A Museum, London.

Exhibition: The Tales we Tell – Indian Warli Painting

V&A - Indian Warli Painting

Exhibition dates: open until 6 November 2016

This exhibition presents a rare insight into Warli, a tribal art form from Western India. Drawing on a store of tribal memory, myths and everyday life, it has evolved from restricted ritual drawings into an applied art in the process of transition. Focusing on the innovative style of Jivya Soma Mashe, who opened up the traditions of Warli to a new iconography, and his follower Ramesh Hengadi, who has developed his own distinctive style in response to changes in community life, and a shift in local markets and global economies.

Also featuring a film by artist, Johnny Magee, reflecting on Mashe’s practice and daily life. An installation created through a pictorial exchange between pupils at Redlands Primary School, Tower Hamlets, and a village school in Dahanu, Thane. The children use the accessible narrative language of Warli to tell each other stories about their respective lives.

The Tales we Tell: Indian Warli Painting is part of the V&A India Festival.

For more information, visit the website of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Exhibition: Bejewelled Treasures – The Al Thani Collection

 

V&A - Bejewelled Treasures

Exhibition dates: 21 November 2015 – 10 April 2016

This exhibition showcases over one hundred exceptional jewels, jewelled artefacts and jades from the Al Thani Collection.

The pieces range in date from the early seventeenth century to the present day, and were made in the Indian subcontinent or inspired by India. They include spectacular precious stones, jades made for Mughal emperors and a gold tiger-head finial from the throne of the South Indian ruler Tipu Sultan.

Objects from the collections of the Nizams of Hyderabad show the influence of Western techniques and gem cutting on the work of Indian jewellers. Famous jewels from leading European houses such as Cartier reveal the more significant impact of India on Art Deco jewellery in the early twentieth century.

These bejewelled treasures highlight the exceptional skills of goldsmiths within the Indian subcontinent. The most recent pieces by jewellers such as JAR and Bhagat also demonstrate that cross-cultural exchanges continue to inspire contemporary jewellery design in India and Europe.

For more information, visit the website of the V&A Museum, London.

Event: Rosemary Crill Talks about ‘The Fabric of India’ Exhibition for ORTS

ORTS Talk - Rosemary Crill - Fabric of India exhibition

Event date: Monday 14 December 2015, 7pm (doors open at 6pm)

The Oriental Rug and Textile Society made a booking error, so Rosemary Crill’s lecture will now be on Monday, December 14th. The committee apologises for inconveniences caused. For anyone who missed the OATG talk by Rosemary Crill in October, this is your second chance!

Rosemary Crill is the beloved, internationally respected Senior Curator for South and Southeast Asian Textiles and Dress, Middle Eastern Carpets, Textiles and Dress, and South Asian Painting at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. She will discuss the exhibition ‘The Fabric of India’ which she has curated at the Victoria and Albert Museum.  This talk will give a privileged insight into her project, and the exhibition catalogue will be available to purchase.  This major exhibition of the V&A’s India Festival will explore handmade Indian textiles from the third to the twenty-first century.

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.

 

News: Re-opening of the V&A’s Refurbished Toshiba Gallery of Japanese Art

V&A - Toshiba Gallery re-opening

The V&A’s refurbished Toshiba Gallery of Japanese Art will re-open on Wednesday 4 November 2015.

The gallery refresh is part of the V&A’s ongoing FuturePlan scheme of restoration and redesign to create beautiful and contemporary new settings for the museum’s outstanding collections. Originally opened in December 1986, the Toshiba Gallery of Japanese Art was the first major gallery of Japanese art in the UK. It was designed to show highlights of the V&A’s internationally important collection of Japanese art and design, which the museum has built up since it was founded in 1852. The refurbished gallery will exhibit around 550 works in a newly curated series of displays that will include 30 or more recent acquisitions. A group of kimono from the 1920s–1930s are among the recent acquisitions that will be shown in the refurbished Toshiba Gallery.

The gallery will illustrate the extraordinary craftsmanship and artistic creativity of Japan from the sixth century to the present day through displays of swords and armour, lacquer, ceramics, cloisonné enamels, textiles and dress, inrō and netsuke, paintings, prints and illustrated books. The lighting, graphics and display cases have been updated and the gallery reconfigured to give space to modern and contemporary objects such as interior design, product design, electronics, photography, graphics and fashion – both high-end and kawaii street. An outfit from Issey Miyake’s 132 5. range will be shown, which employs the concept of origami to create a piece of womenswear out of a single piece of fabric, as well as a pair of gravity-defying shoes by the brilliantly creative Noritaka Tatehana.

The history and traditions of Japan are explored in the Toshiba Gallery, as well as how they resonate in contemporary society, including themes such as religion and ritual, arts of the samurai, tea drinking, theatre and performance, fashionable dress, dress accessories, lacquer and elegant pursuits, ukiyo-e and the graphic arts, engagement with the West, Imperial Japan, folk craft and the modern and contemporary. The displays will be complemented by films about inrō, putting on a kimono and obi, how to make a sword fitting and how to put on a suit of armour.

Treasures of the gallery include the lavishly decorated Mazarin Chest, made in Kyoto around 1640, which is one of the finest pieces of Japanese export lacquer to have survived from this time; a wonderfully preserved late seventeenth-century six-fold screen depicting the Nakamura-za Kabuki theatre in Edo (Tokyo); a set of twelve inrō for the twelve months of the year by the renowned nineteenth-century lacquer artist Shibata Zeshin; utensils for the tea ceremony including several rare and important examples of ceramics; and a major group of extremely high quality cloisonné enamels from the period 1880 to 1910.

Admission to the Toshiba Gallery (Room 45) is free.

For more information, visit the website of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Event: Rosemary Crill Talks about ‘The Fabric of India’ Exhibition

V&A - Fabric of India - Rosemary Crill OATG talk

Event date: Tuesday 20 October 2015, 6pm

Rosemary Crill has curated the new Victoria & Albert Museum exhibition, ‘The Fabric of India’, which is showing at the V&A from 3 October 2015 to 10 January 2016. The exhibition is the highlight of the V&A’s India Festival and is the first major exhibition to explore the dynamic and multifaceted world of handmade textiles from India from the 3rd to the 21st century. Rosemary is also the author of the exhibition catalogue. She will be talking to the Oxford Asian Textile Group next week, in what promises to be a fantastic opportunity to hear about this new exhibition, which has had excellent reviews in the press so far.

Rosemary is the V&A’s Senior Curator for South & Southeast Asian textiles and dress, Middle Eastern carpets, textiles and dress and South Asian painting.

This event will be held at the Pauling Centre, 58a Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6QS.

Timing: 6pm for a 6:15pm start. The talk will be followed by questions and drinks, and will finish at 8:15pm.

Tickets are free for OATG members, or £3 for non-members.

 

Exhibition: The Fabric of India

V&A - Fabric of India
Exhibition dates: 3 October 2015 – 10 January 2016

India’s handmade textiles are embedded in every aspect of its identity. The history of these fabrics dates back at least 6,000 years. Courtly splendour was proclaimed by sumptuous fabrics, while religious worship still finds expression through sacred cloths. Centuries of global trade have been shaped by the export of Indian textiles and patterns, in demand around the world. These celebrated handmade textiles even survived the threat of industrialisation, instead uniting India as symbols of power and protest. Today, young designers are adapting traditional making techniques to create exciting new fashion, art and design for a global audience, giving India’s textile history a new relevance in the modern world.

The highlight of the V&A’s India Festival, The Fabric of India will be the first major exhibition to explore the dynamic and multifaceted world of handmade textiles from India, spanning from the 3rd century to the present day. Showcasing the best of the V&A’s world-renowned collection together with masterpieces from international partners and leading designers, the exhibition will feature over 200 objects, many on display for the first time. Visitors can expect a stunning range of historic dress, heirloom fabrics and cutting-edge fashion.

The astonishing skills and variety evident in India’s incomparably rich textile tradition will surprise and inform even those with prior knowledge of the subject, and is sure to delight visitors.

For more information, visit the website of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Textile Tidbits: Behind the Scenes at the V&A’s ‘Fabric of India’ Exhibition

V&A - Textile Tidbit - Fabric of India

Today’s Textile Tidbit is a behind-the-scenes glimpse at preparations for the V&A’s upcoming ‘Fabric of India’ exhibition, which opens on 3 October. You may already have been following the exhibition’s blog, but if not, here are two fascinating posts that give a great insight into how the exhibition was planned and prepared for.

Firstly, curator Rosemary Crill describes in her post, ‘The Reject Files‘, how she initially selected the textiles to be included in the exhibition, and how she decided which ones to exclude. It’s interesting to hear about the objects that didn’t make it through the selection process, and how the decisions were made.

And secondly, from further on in the preparation process, the V&A’s textile conservation team wrote a post entitled ‘Slippery Sagas and Delightful Draping‘, about the troubles they had coming up with a method for draping saris on mannequins to go on display. The whole process sounds fairly entertaining from a spectator’s point of view, but I’m sure it was tricky and frustrating for those involved!

I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I did, and that they whet your appetite for the exhibition itself. Not long to go now! And if you’d like to read more blog posts about this exhibition in the meantime, you can find the entire series here.