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Indepth Arts News:

"SHAMIANA: THE MUGHAL TENT"
2000-05-27 until 2000-07-01
ROCHDALE ART GALLERY
Rochdale, , UK United Kingdom

Shamiana: The Mughal Tent is a unique exhibition. Twenty richly decorated textile panels, designed and hand-made by groups of mainly South Asian women and girls from the United Kingdom and across the world, will be displayed. The panels are a testament to the inspirational power of the arts of South Asia and the textile skills, imagination and powers of self-expression of their makers who, without formal art or design training, have created works of extraordinary freshness and quality.

Shamiana is an arts education initiative by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. It symbolises the United Kingdom's links with South Asia, both past and present, and the continuing vitality of the South Asian cultural tradition.

The qanats or decorated textile tent panels in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum inspired women who were themselves skilled both in contemporary machine textile techniques and in traditional hand methods of sewing and embroidery. The groups created their own designs and images, based on the forms, symbolism and techniques of Islamic art used in a contemporary way. We were wanting the women to say something about their own lives and we felt we were giving status to their skills as embroiders but also to their thoughts and opinions. Subjects covered include life in Blackburn, Arabic calligraphy and Burnley women from different cultural backgrounds.


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