Quilt Center unveils ‘South Asian Seams’

May 7th, 2010 | By | Category: Arts & Entertainment, May 6, 2010

A new exhibit at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum will highlight the vibrant textile tradition of women from the Indian subcontinent.

“South Asian Seams: Quilts from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh” opens May 5 and will include more than 40 examples of ralli and kantha. It will also feature an assortment of large-scale photographs depicting the women who make these quilts and the people who use them.

A kantha quilt featured in the International Quilt Study Center and Museum’s “South Asian Seams” exhibition. Courtesy.

Patchwork, embroidery, and applique all figure prominently in ralli, a traditional quilted textile from northwestern India and eastern Pakistan. In the eastern Indian states of Bihar and West Bengal and across the border into Bangladesh, women create kantha and sujuni bed coverings using quilting stitches as the primary decorative elements. Constructed from layers of old cotton sari and dhoti (women’s and men’s wrapped garments), kantha provide a way for women to give new life to old cloth.

The exhibition, open through Nov. 7, is co-curated by Marin Hanson, curator of exhibitions at the IQSC, and guest curator Patricia Stoddard, a leading expert on Pakistani and Indian quilted textiles. Her book “Ralli Quilts: Traditional Textiles of Pakistan and India” is the only published work on the topic. Stoddard will be teaching a weeklong summer seminar for graduate students this June.

Programming related to the exhibition includes:

May 15 – 2 p.m., public lecture on Maharashtra Quilts by Geeta Khandelwal, Indian textile collector

May 25 – noon, Tuesday Talk with Marin Hanson, curator of exhibitions, describing the IQSC fall 2009 research trip to India

June 27 – 2 p.m., Public lecture by Patricia Stoddard

July 31 – 2 p.m., demonstration and trunk show by members of the Kala Raksha women’s fair trade cooperative, Gujarat, India

For more information, including the exhibit, museum hours and admission, go to www.quiltstudy.org or call 472-6549.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave Comment