ExhibitionsFigure, Face and Form

31 Aug 2021 - 31 Mar 2022

This exhibition explores the use of embroidery to portray figures and faces across different cultures, reflecting special occasions, social and political issues, belief, village life and childhood. Embroidery is a means of capturing life, expressing patriotism or protest, bringing good fortune and creating awareness. The many techniques include applique, beading, embroidery and filet lace.

Among the objects displayed are a Bangladeshi Kantha embroidery depicting a procession with a central figure of a woman being carried in a litter and a Chinese silk bed hanging and Vietnamese Panel, both with figures finely embroidered.

Objects depicting protest include an image of Simon Bolivar, who led the revolutions against Spanish rule in South America. It is appliqued on a Peruvian ceremonial breast plate or collar  He was the dictator of Peru from 1823 to 1826. An Arpillera appliqued and stitched during the time of the Pinochet regime in Chile, shows women protesting in the streets, carrying portraits of their missing loved ones, whilst a military vehicle is being driven nearby.