Thursday, June 16, 2016

Curators 'Floor Talk' Adorned: Textiles and Jewellery from Central Asia


Last Saturday, Carol Cains, Curator Asian Art, National Gallery of Victoria and curator of 'Adorned: Textile and Jewellery from Central Asia' traveled to the Ararat Regional Art Gallery to conduct a floor talk, providing a wealth of knowledge of pieces in the exhibition. Many traveled long distances for the opportunity to learn more about the culture and expertise that produced these stunning works. Here Carol explained the techniques and significance of this piece, a 'Suzani' embroidered by a bride and her family were an important part of a bride’s dowry and used as hangings, bed covers, partitions, curtains,coffin covers and prayer mats.
  A detail of the central motif. Exquisitely embroidered.
Animals were highly prized possessions, the felt textile on the right is described as either a horse or camel blanket, which could also be used as a canopy for a yurt interior. The felted piece on the left is a horse blanket. The design incorporates slits for the girth strap that holds the saddle in place. 
A child's tunic, one of my favorite pieces in the exhibition. Decorated with plastic thimbles. Unfinished hems ensured the child would continue to grow and the mother would bear more children.
This tent band is the only purely decorative piece in the exhibition that is woven, other works are hand embroidered. Woven on a narrow cotton warp with wool for the weft, the band measures approximately 11 meters long. Tent bands served as practical and decorative functions inside and outside the yurt.
 'Adorned: Textiles and Jewellery from Central Asia' continues at the Ararat Regional Art Gallery until July 17th.
All photos copyright National Gallery of Victoria.

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