11 April 2014

Boro - words and details

The Boro exhibition at Somerset House till 26 April is well worth a visit. The textiles, of which there are many, are attached to stretched fabric on the wall, though in Japan they've been shown in folded heaps on the floor.

We were lucky to chat with Gordon Reece, who was instrumental in setting up the exhibition and indeed in collecting the works, and heard of how disregarded these textiles are in Japan - they are an embarrassment, a sign of poverty (as were the Canadian Red Cross quilts sent to homeless families in WW2). We value the frugality, and the abstract patterning - there are parallels with Gee's Bend quilts.

Click on the photos to enlarge them - it should make the words easier to read. A catalogue is available, but these texts aren't in it.


Alison Schwabe said...

OMG what a wonderful exhibition that would be to see, sigh - thanks for posting. How thrilled I was to discover via the panel texts how significant is Alberto Burri - whose work I have been admiring since I joined Pinterest.

Jane Housham said...

Wow, really interesting, thanks. I imagine you see lots of resonance with several different areas of your own artwork? In particular, the lines of stitches make me think of your journey lines.

Cathy Perlmutter said...

Margaret, thank you so much for posting this. Even though I lived in Japan years ago, I knew nothing about Boro cloth! I'm grateful to you!

Lynn K. said...

This is a great exhibit! Kudos on your photography. I wish I could see these in person. They remind me of the Gees Bend quilts that have been touring the U.S. in the last few years. Gees Bend is a small town in the rural South. The quilts on exhibit were made by very poor, southern African-Americans in the 1st half of the 20th C..They are known for their sense of line, structure, and stitching. These women, too, used scraps of cotton. Their color palette was more extensive than the Boros, but definitely portray the poverty from which they come.
I really enjoyed your sharing with us. Thanks.
Lynn Kunz

Unknown said...

Thank you for that. Such beautiful pieces and so many stories in each piece.