TAASA NSW ZOOM LECTURES – TAASA Review September 2020
6 July 2020 Into the light: Asian textiles in the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney The collection has some 3,000 textiles or costumes, and we benefitted from Christine’s familiarity with it as former Principal Curator through her judicious selection of 130 significant pieces.
She structured her talk geographically, in her words `from Turkey to Tokyo’, integrating design, materials, technology and personal preferences into her overview. The Western Asia selection included fine embroideries and rugs from Turkey, as well as tunics and textiles from Syria, Palestine and the Caucasus; Central Asia included magical examples of richly coloured, embroidered Uzbeki suzani and Turkmenistan hanging and carpet examples from the important collection given to the Powerhouse by Robert Upfold. The South Asian section was particularly rich, with examples from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir (including one of Christina’s favourite shawls) and India.
Trade textiles were a feature, from the earliest textile in the collection, a 1400s Gujarati blockprinted fragment, to large printed pieces for the Indonesian market such as a dramatic Ramayana story cloth...