GW Art History Professor Cristin McKnight Sethi invited a group of artists in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan to create new textiles inspired by artworks in The Textile Museum Collection — with stunning results.
Handmade presents these new works alongside their historical counterparts. Laxmiben Kalyanji Puvar, an artist in Gujarat, India, reimagined a man’s wedding sash as a luxurious silk sari. Gohar Sajjid and other artists with the Sabah Pakistan organization embroidered a shawl with stylized floral and geometric designs found in a 20th-century bridal shawl. In all their work, these contemporary makers interpret centuries-old textile techniques, patterns and motifs in fresh ways.
Short videos in the exhibition share the artists' stories and experiences. Some work independently, while others are part of cooperatives or workshops. Sabah Pakistan, for example, is an organization that provides women embroiderers in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region with skills training and retail spaces where they can sell their work at fair prices. Puvar developed her design and business skills at Somaiya Kala Vidya, a design institute that helps Indigenous artisans build on their family traditions.
The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum
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