Tag Archives: Textile

Travels and Treasures: The Divine Inspirations of Katharine Maltwood and Treasures of the Turcomans

Turcoman embroidered textile, Iran, 1930s.
Turcoman embroidered textile, Iran, 1930s.

October 5, 2009 – January 30, 2010  March 5, 2010

Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery

Curated by Bryn Dharmarante and Marnie Malinda Mandel

View the online catalogue:

Travels and Treasures – Catalogue

This exhibition showcases striking Middle Eastern textiles by Turcoman artists and sculpture by Katharine Maltwood. Maltwood’s sculptural work was inspired by her Asian and African travels. Also explore the Japanese influenced botanical illustrations of Elizabeth Duer.

The exhibition complements two views on foreign travel; The Divine Inspirations of Katharine Maltwood focuses on the renowned globetrotter and artist Katharine Maltwood and her travels to Egypt and Japan in the early 20th century. Treasures of the Turcomans exhibits the jewelry and carpets collected from an expedition made through Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan in the 1930s.

Katharine Maltwood obtained numerous works of art and was moved by the rich religious histories in the two regions. The show includes photographs and key pieces of sculpture that she acquired while in Egypt and Japan.

Treasures of the Turcomans features The Gastrell Collection of jewelry, textiles and carpets made by nomadic women and acquired by a British diplomat’s family whilst living in Iran and Baluchistan (northern India/Pakistan) during the 1930-40s.

Woven in Time

August 7 – September 29, 2008

Legacy Maltwood (at Mearns Centre – McPherson Library)

This exhibtion contains photographs by UVic student, Ashley Akins. The images document rural life in Peru’s Patakancha Valley, where textile weaving is an integral, but endangered concept.

After volunteering in Peru to brush up on her Spanish, Akins noted that the tourism in the country was both a blessing and a curse. Travellers scoop up their intricate, colourful products but in the haste to sell the work of their elders, younger people are not learning the skills to keep the traditional craft alive. In response to this she create the Mosqoy Foundation (which means “to dream” in the communities’ Indigenous language) which has a three-fold motto-to “educate, preserve and connect”. It accomplishes this through two main projects: the Proyecto Colibri (Project Hummingbird) and Banco de Jovenes (Youth Bank).

Under the former, Akins buys the woven products and sells them at three times the purchase price. One third of the proceeds is returned to the weavers, another third goes to projects chosen by the communities, and another third goes to the Youth Bank to fund 20 students annually to attend post-secondary studies in Cusco, the nearest city.

Deidre Scherer: Surrounded by Family and Friends


February 28 – March 21, 2006

Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery

Surrounded by Family and Friends depicts six distinct death scenes that embrace intergenerational, non-traditional, and culturally diverse family groups. We die surrounded by our relationships, complex and rich. These ties include parents, children, partners, siblings, and friends both human and animal.

Working through hospices, Scherer is invited to witness, draw and photograph families who are caring for a dying person. Her on-site drawers are an active exchange and are the source fro the life-sized panels. Once translated into fabric and thread medium, her work invited a multitude of interpretations.

Under Wraps: Redressing History

March 23 – April 29, 2004

Legacy Maltwood (at Mearns Centre – McPherson Library)

An exhibit featuring textile works by Joanna Rogers that explore the unwritten histories of women. Under Wraps incorporates historical patterns of both men and women’s garments.

Rogers says,

“In Under Wraps, clothes are used to represent history; and quilting patterns represent the whole of women in history. The stitch becomes the symbol for the written word.”

The Middle East Peace Quilt

February 1 – February 27, 2000

Legacy Maltwood (at Mearns Centre – McPherson Library)

The Middle East Peace Quilt is an international community project initiated by artist and activist Sima Elizabeth Shefrin who asked participants to make quilt squares expressing their vision of peace in the Middle East.

The quilt was created from over 200 9-inch squares by people from all over North America, England, Germany, and Greece, including people from both Palestinian and Israeli backgrounds.

Georgians “Gobelins”: Carpets from the Republic of Georgia, USSR

September 5 – October 1, 1989

Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery

The first time that such a grouping of Georgian art works has ever been seen beyond the borders of the Soviet Union.

Select pieces which condense the centuries and abridge the history of Georgia in an interesting and appealing manner will be on display. A beautifully colourful and educational exhibition of carpets that illustrate the early years of this century when Georgia was a thriving trading centre in carpets, wall-hangings and other items of interest.

Threads of Survival: Chilean Arpilleras of Resistance

January 22 – February 19, 1989

Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery

The arpilleras made in workshops in the slum areas of Santiago have their roots in Chilean folk-art, but in fact, represent a significant break from it. The small appliqué wall-hanings are being created with the explicit purpose of export. They are being sent out to establish links with women abroad as well as to draw attention to the unbearable conditions that exist for people living in Santiago’s shanty towns.

The arpillera workshops are part of a cultural movement of protest in Chile that exists in all art forms. Heavy government repression has not succeeded in curtailing this form of expression. It is to be seen on stage, in cafes, on book shelves, magazine racks, radio stations and in new forms of folk-art, such as the arpilleras.

Created by unnamed Chilean women, these arpilleras document the suffering of a whole country.


Warm Nights

May 21 – June 15, 1986

Maltwood Art Gallery

As most immigrants were not prepared for Canada’s severe winters, quilts were invaluable for warmth. This was an exhibition of featuring this art form that drew from the Collection of Modern History Division of the British Columbia Provincial Museum. Many of the quilts in museum collections were brought to British Columbia, which reflects their value and practicality.

The quilter has several options in making the quilt, be it a wholecloth quilt, a pieced quilt, an applique quilt, or an all-white quilt. Quilting was a creative outlet for many women through the choice of fabric, patterns and colours.

Atlantic Visions: Crafts from Canada’s Four Atlantic Provinces

July 4 – August 18, 1985

Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery

An exhibition that emphasizes textiles, both decorative and utilitarian. Fabric is widely explored, as well as ceramics, wood, metal, leather and basket making. The show celebrates traditional as well as contemporary craftsmanship.

Blue and White: Chinese Porcelain, 1650 to 1900

Untitled, Unknown; Crane Scroll
Untitled, Unknown; Crane Scroll

April 26 – May 21, 1985

Maltwood Art  Museum and Gallery

In 1650 a new appreciation for natural beauty arose and Chinese potters expressed this love of nature through cobalt blue designs of flora and fauna.

In the 17th century, a mass industry of exports to the West was established, which was the only source of “china” in Europe for a long time. Chinese porcelain became an enviable domestic possession and had a great influence on Western ceramic art.

The porcelain was drawn from a private collection. The John and Katharine Maltwood collection provided Chinese hanging scrolls and furniture for the exhibition.

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