Supported by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, the Arts Council Yorkshire and Renaissance Yorkshire, York Art Gallery will be home to this stunning exhibition of Japanese Sashiko. The items have been selected by Michele Walker for the stories they tell of women's perseverence and hardships. The 75+ garments will be fleshed out by videos and significant works from Japanese photographer, Iwayima Takeji (1920-1989). Until the mid 20th century Sashiko was the traditional method of making work wear in fishing and farming areas throughout Japan. The physical protection of sashiko garments was reinforced by the spiritual protection thought to be associated with the stitched patterns. Sometimes these ‘talismen’ took the form of small stitched symbols hidden on the inside of the garment to protect vulnerable parts of the body, for example the neck and back. Or they may take on a more flamboyant character, as seen on the inside of fireman’s garments that picture heroic images applied using tsutsugaki (freehand resist-dyed technique.)
Most of the exhibits are being shown in the UK for the first time. Lenders include The Japan Folk Crafts Museum; Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography; The Aikawa and Ogi Folk Museums, Sado Island; Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum; Fukuoka City Museum; and private collectors. Click here to download a brochure.
Don't fret if York is difficult for you visit, this is a touring exhibition and will also visit:
27 February – 11 April 2010 Collins Gallery, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow (closed for Easter, 2 - 5 April)
8 May – 4 July 2010 Ruthin Craft Centre
31 July – 26 September 2010 Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery