Fashion and Textiles Museum
21 June – 8 September 2019
Review by Dieneke Ferguson
Weavers of the Cloud showcases the colourful art and textiles of Peru. It includes costumes, tapestries, paintings, photographs, illustrations and accessories.
It looks at Peru’s vibrant crafts, its heritage and traditions and celebrates the culture and customs of the artisan and their influence on design, fashion and beyond.
Peru is one of the earliest civilizations – and as such it has the longest continuous history of textile production in the world.
Each region has a different technique of application which is featured in the exhibition. From weaving in the Central Highlands to floral embroidery in Ayacucho in the South West.
The costumes and textiles in the exhibition are complemented by a selection of photographs including postcards from Martin Chambi. He was one of the earliest known indigenous Latin American photographers whose images of indigenous people of Cuzco and their costumes helped disseminate knowledge of Peru in the 20th century.
Awamaki is a not-for-profit organisation in peru that connects artisan women int he Andes to Global markets. They provide training in product development, business skills and leadership. They also collaborate with international designers to make contemporary handmade accessories and access global markets. Awamaki was set up to give the Quechua women the opportunity to ear an living whilst at the same time encouraging them to continue practising traditional crafts.
The exhibition also features contemporary Peruvian fashion designers, in Meche Correa.
They work with numerous traditional techniques still used today, inc embroidery, crochet and knitwear. They contribute to the continuation of the master crafts.
Peru has also influenced international designers such as Vivienne Westwood’s Collection. This Cotton Fibre Hat was inspired by her time in the rainfores with the Cool Earth Project. Vivienne said: “We combined it with influences of the Ashaninka Tribe in Peru which we visited in 2013. They are wonderful people who care about the forest, which is their home. They are kind and elegant. (Vivienne Westwood, 2015).
Many contemporary artists and designers draw upon Peru’s rich heritage of textiles.