Sunday, December 05, 2010

Textiles as Inspiration

My tapestry design.
TDIC, The Abu Dhabi Tourism, Development and Investment Company, who is the master developer of key cultural events in the area, hosted a wonderful exhibition of Islamic Embroidery entitled, "A Story of Islamic Embroidery in Nomadic and Urban Traditions." Stunning pieces of embroidery from the Turkoman, Uzbek, Morocco, and Algeria regions dating from the 19th and 20th centuries formed the core of the exhibition.

These textiles told the story of the women who lived and worked in these times. As quoted from the Curatorial Statement of the book "A Story of Islamic Embroidery", The world of women's craft is a fascinating yet hidden one, where most women work in discreet intimacy.  Embroideries, however, provide us with the perfect gateway into their minds and lives. Behind every piece of embroidery are the efforts, the tears, the laughter, and the ambitions of the woman who created it.  It is thus a very intimate world that is shy to reveal itself, as embroideries are the demonstration and living testimony of what many women do in their secluded domestic world."

I visited the exhibition several times and was awestruck by the workmanship and intricacy of the designs. Many of the pieces incorporated not only embroidery but quilting techniques as well.

TDIC teamed with The Prince's School of Traditional Arts of London to host a workshop in which participants were to design their own pattern for a tapestry inspired by the works on display within the exhibition. Our design tools consisted only of a compass and a straight edge. We mixed our paints from pigments and tea dyed our paper to create a design reminiscent of tribal times. It was a wonderful way to immerse ourselves to an even greater extent in a truly inspiring exhibition.

1 comment:

Notjustnat said...

Cynthia, it's fascinating exhibition. Lucky you to get to see the pieces. Can you take photo? Guess not uh! I am now your follower - xoxo Natima