India -WOW!

From: Saturday, 6 June 2015 to Monday, 30 November 2015

An exhibition curated by Deborah Whitford

India has the WOW factor, in architecture, the arts and the sheer magnificence of colour and movement in a vast and ever changing landscape.  To see a sari in a cabinet is to see its shadow for it is in the wearing and moving, that a sari shimmers. I went to India to see its textiles and famous living colour and I was enchanted.

There is so much that can be said about India but I will focus on my quest to seek out the artisans, textiles and costumes as the subject is vast, the variety and choice remarkable. 

I went to India to collect items for my Textile Museum and gallery shop and on returning, became aware of what I had missed, what to look for next time and how little I know about Indian textiles therefore this is not an informative sheet but a gentle reminder of India’s position in the world of textiles.

I have been collecting textiles all of my life – as a child to make dolls and dolls’ clothes, as a young woman to make clothes for myself.  I simply loved textiles – old and new but old textiles have always held an enchantment.  I studied, trained and worked as a designer of clothes and textiles for over twenty years and I have never lost my passion to look at and feel textiles.

In recent years I have travelled to many countries to seek out their particular textile speciality and everywhere I went I heard the story of the demise of lace making, embroidery, indigo dying, hand printing and so on it went. 

More and more I found that the beautiful hand work on a dress or cushion came from India. Many of the top names in fashion and interior design have their wares made in India and so I went to India. 

India is known mainly as an exporter of cheap items but it has so much more to offer as one of the last countries where craft is important to the economy and the artisans have the ability to make the most beautiful and exquisite items.

It was my desire to show you what India can make – what the living artisans are capable of and what the women wear.  I wanted to celebrate the magnificence of Indian textiles and shout its praises. I hope to inspire a renewed appreciation of its traditions and abilities in the art of producing magnificent textiles.

Thank you, for taking the time to visit the exhibition and I hope you have enjoyed it and learnt from the exhibition.