Written on October 11, 2009
Dublin’s The Douglas Hyde Gallery–Trinity College’s contemporary art gallery–is currently showing the exhibition “Japanese Country Textiles.” I was fortunate to collaborate with The Douglas Hyde Gallery by lending works and by writing the essay for the catalog which accompanies the show which runs from 8 October until 18 November.
The exhibition showcases traditional natural materials which in the past were used to weave Japanese rural textiles. The exhibition features eight garments woven from materials such as hemp, ramie, cotton, paper, elm fiber or ohyo, Okinawan banana leaf fiber or bashofu, and okuso, or the waste produced by hemp yarn making, which is seen in the remarkable okusozakkuri, or garment of okuso, above.
Pictured above is a wonderfully good, indigo blue sakiori hanten with intricately sashiko stitched sleeves, the sleeves most likely were recycled from another garment.
I’m thrilled to participate in this exhibition, which hopefully will allow a broader audience an understanding of Japan’s rural past and the ingenious cloth made by the women in old Japan.