No visit to Canberra is complete without visiting the National Gallery and other Museums there.
Because time was short, and we were there to see our daughter, I had to pick carefully as I couldn't see everything. On the one day we had free I choose the National Gallery and my husband and daughter chose the Science Museum.
The National Gallery allows no photography and the textiles on display were just wonderful. There was one Indian piece that just blew me away. The stitching was perfect and the quilting in the background so fine that I attracted the attention of the guard when I was trying to calculate the number of stitches per inch. I was told that the collection had been digitised and I could find it online. But, the images are not good enough to actually study the stitching. So I can only describe the work.
This is a recent acquisition, 2013. Mughal dynasty (1526?1858)
Tent hanging [qanat]
cotton, silk, mashru lining embroidery, quilting
177.0 h x 70.0 w cm
That really doesn't tell you much. The design is all stitched in silk using a fine Tambour work technique. I counted almost 20 stitches to the inch. What you can't see is that the background of the main panel is all quilted in a diagonal cross hatched design.
I estimate, (this is where that guard came up to me to inquire what I was doing), that each square was less than 1cm and there were about 10 stitches to the cm. It was stitched in the finest silk in the same colour red as the backround. The skill of the embroiderer is wonderful.
I did take a few photos before I realised that you weren't allowed to. Just some textiles. This is a modern piece of lace used in this piece by Gean Paul Gaultier.
And this piece from Sumatra. A ceremonail Shoulder cloth. The court weavers there produced sumptuous brocade cloth of gold all on an ordinary back strap loom.
Then there was this mantle. I took a not too good photo of the description and now I have to find out what 'kesdi' stitch is.
The last piece was this jacket. I liked the embroidered design on the front panels and thought I might be able to use it as inspiration for another design.
It was at this point that I realised I was the only person with a camera. I hadn't been stopped, so I went and asked if I could take photos? Aa resounding NO. So the next exhibit I saw I bought the catalogue.