All images ©Karun Thakar Collection.
Until December, SOAS University of London (School of Oriental and African Studies) is hosting an exhibition of ‘African Textiles from the Karun Thakar Collection’, described as one of the world’s largest private collections of African textiles.
Featuring high quality material, that highlights the sophistication of historical African textiles art and design, which have been little understood and appreciated, the exhibition will examine the links between west and north African textile traditions through a selection of important and rare examples of textile art, being shown here for the first time.
The exhibition will include a selection of over 150 exhibits and textiles from west and north Africa including Morocco, Tunisia, Ivory Coast, Mali, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon.
Karun’s personal and eclectic collection, which includes 4,000 textiles, grew from a childhood passion, maintained for more than forty years. “Much of the pleasure these objects provide is derived from their association with the people and places where they were acquired but equally in sharing them with other enthusiasts.”
More of the African Textiles Collection can be seen in the book ‘African Textiles: The Karun Thakar Collection’ published by Prestel, 2015. This is a record of textiles from Central, Northern and West Africa and includes weavings from Ghana, Nigeria and the Ivory Coast; embroideries, veils and haiks from Morocco and Tunisia; and raffia fabrics from Congo. Organised by region, each piece is photographed to highlight the colours, patterns and skill with which it was created.
The exhibition is in the University’s Brunei Gallery. The University has a long relationship with the study of Africa's arts and visualities as well as of its languages and cultures.
For exhibition details visit www.soas.ac.uk/gallery
Further details on the Karun Collection can be found by visiting www.karuncollection.com