Thursday, March 01, 2007

Quilts All Over the World

It's time to write some more about quilts and textiles. I've been reading a new Quilters Newsletter Magazine which mentions a quilt show in Khazakistan. And I notice there and in a French quilt magazine i recently bought that a quilt show is going to be held in Czech Republic next month. Some months ago in Artful Quilter's Ring, Jenny Bowker who writes "Notes from Cairo" [where her husband is an Australian diplomat] mentioned she helped mount a quilt show in Libya. Wow! All over the world quilts are being seen. We know about the fabulous, in fact, amazing, flowering of quilting in Japan.

In the Empire Quilter's Guild we have a wonderful variety of nationalities -- but that should be expected in a place like NYC with people from every part of the globe living here. Off hand I think of two Russian women, a couple of Swedes, a couple French, a woman from Indonesia, several of Chinese background, a Peruvian, and others from Eastern Europe whose countries I don't know. Still, with quilts recognized in many parts off the world as fascinating art work, the snobbish, insular and, yes, somewhat provincial New York art world is utterly uninterested.

Not a quilt, but an appliqued and embroidered work of great intricacy and size is a Buddhist banner being made by what is called The Mongolian Queens Club. On the back of the flyer of which I show the front, it is described as "80 elbows length." I've been wondering if that is from wrist to elbow or finger tips to elbow. At any rate, a very large textile work with the astonishing complexity of traditional Tibettan Buddhist art -- remember Buddhism was brought to Mongolia by Grushi Khan, the grandson of Ghengis. It was Grushi who invited the high lama from Lhasa to his court to teach his sons [he had quite a few wives and quite a few sons] religion and that high lama, when he returned to Lhasa, became the Dalai Lama, the politically most important lama in Tibet.

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