All Talks are included in the price of a Selvedge Virtual World Fair Ticket
Saturday 5 September 2020, 1-2 BST (British Summer Time, London, UK)Virtual event, hosted on Zoom (details of how to connect to the event will be provided closer to the event)Presentations and discussion with Asif Shaikh Foundation (India), Kissweh (Palestine) and Dinara Chochunbaeva, Central Asia Crafts Support Association's Resource Center (Kyrgyzstan)Asif Shaikh FoundationBorn in Ahmedabad, a city renowned for its rich culture and textile heritage, Asif took up embroidery when he was about ten years old. At an age when embroidery was rarely pursued by young boys, Asif chose needle, thread and fabric over other interests. As he perfected stitches he would try to recreate the motifs and stitches of different embroideries. A self-taught practitioner, he has explored a spectrum of traditional Indian embroidery techniques from different regions of India and set out to learn the stitches to use in his own embroidery work. This self teaching led him to embroider unique garments akin to art pieces infused with timeless elegance. Asif is meticulous about quality - a word synonymous with his work and his identity; his studio employs artisans who, under Asif's astute guidance, produce a range of embroidered fabric which is transformed into garments and textiles. His technical expertise of stitches is invaluable in recreating the aesthetic of old embroideries as well as in creating his own signature designs. Showcasing a sophisticated juxtaposition of traditional textile techniques in stitch, motif, composition and colour palette, these textiles recreate the grandeur and newness of India's fabled royal textiles and attire as they revive and preserve the tradition of Indian embroideries and support local artisans and their textiles.KisswehKissweh is an embroidery studio based in Lebanon and Los Angeles. Kissweh's goals are: to be a contemporary source of exquisitely designed and timeless products inspired by the rich folk art of traditional Palestinian needlework motifs; and to give skilled craftswomen living in the refugee camps of Lebanon the opportunity to earn a fair living from their artisan skills.Central Asia Crafts Support Association's Resource CenterKyrgyz people, representing the ancient nomadic civilisation of Central Asia, manufactured felt, which is recognised as a pre-textile, from time immemorial and utilised it in all aspects of their lives. Felt had sacral meaning and played an important role in the social life of the Kyrgyz tribe. The yurt, portable house of Kyrgyz, was also covered by felt.
A harmonious perception of the surrounding environment, reflected in ornament and colour combinations, as well as a marvellous sense of proportion, was peculiar to ancient Kyrgyz artisans. Design elements, consisting mostly of plant and animal motifs, reflected pre-Islamic, shamanistic beliefs, which involved esoteric knowledge passed from the creator to the concrete recipient.
This presentation will give an overview of historic as well as contemporary felt products, produced by Kyrgyz craftsmen in past and present time. The wide array of felt products utilises traditional felt technologies (ornamented carpets and household goods), as well as mixed techniques with use of other natural fibres, such as cotton and silk (fashion accessories and toys), reflecting both Kyrgyz culture and the personality of the artist.