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A tapestry is a coming together of people or things, usually thread, to make an intricate whole. This exhibition shows the breadth of the textiles at the Whitworth that are made with this method of weaving. Morris and Co., Grayson Perry, Marta Rogoyska and Eduardo Paolozzi hangings sit alongside thick kelims from Central Asia, fine silk kesi from China and early fragments from Peru and Egypt: the first known civilisations to have made tapestries. Sacrifice and celebration, hunting and the hunted, female ideologies and class, politics and taste are threaded through the many versions of this global technique.
A large mural in this space, commissioned by the Whitworth from Ibukun Baldwin, tells us a little about how tapestries are made. Baldwin is a multidisciplinary artist and founder of ethical fashion and textiles company Bukky Baldwin, situated in the Whitworth Work Shop. The company offers training and opportunities to marginalised communities, gathering people to make things together at the Whitworth.
12 October 2019 – 23 February 2020
Image: Wall hanging detail, Tapestry in silk, 19 Century.
Made in China. The Whitworth, The University of Manchester