A feast of colour and decoration awaits at an exhibition of traditional embroidered textiles from the lands of the Indus, Afghanistan, the Near East and Central Asia

The focus of the display, at the Brunei Gallery is the Silk Road and the traditional designs of the people who lived and migrated along that famous trading pathway.

As a display, it’s a mixture of fabrics hanging from walls as tapestries, and shop dummies standing around in traditional dress.

The mannequins are a bit, cheesy to be frank, maybe the bland faces making it all look a bit like a local history museum, or Southall shop.

Display whinge aside, it is nonetheless, a glorious feast of colour and, mostly, geometrical Islamic style designs, with few representations of living beings.

Alongside each section showing the local crafts are explanation boards which tell the story of the people of the region and some notes about their tapestries.

The tapestries are not just decorative though, for they are a record of the history, social customs, folk tales and myths as hereditary wisdom and skills were passed down from mother to daughter in an attempt to guard their techniques and traditions in textiles.

The exhibition is open until 25th March, Tuesday – Saturday: 10.30 – 17.00 and late night Thursday until 20:00.

Entry is free.

Brunei Gallery
SOAS University of London,
10 Thornhaugh Street,

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