Visit to Whitworth Art Gallery . A guided tour of the exhibition ‘Four Corners of One Cloth’ Textiles from the Islamic World.
A group of members of Altrincham Interfaith Group and friends met up at Whitworth Art Gallery on the evening of September 6th for a tour of the exhibition “Four Corners of One Cloth: Textiles from the Islamic World” given by Uthra Rajgopal, Assistant Curator of Textiles and Wallpaper. This exhibition showcased different cultures from the Islamic world, and we started with a fragment of the Kiswa, the cloth that covers the Ka’bah, the most holy site in Islam, which is replaced each year during Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca). Positioned in the direction of Mecca, it was in the centre of the gallery, and around it were various displays of cloths from places such as Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Yemen, as well as Uganda and Egypt. Of particular interest was a courtly dress from Iran that was covered with figures, and there was a lively discussion about representation of humans in Islamic art. Another unusual piece showed a fire hose on a piece of material - this was considered a great asset to a town or village, hence its depiction. We also saw how William Morris and his contempories were influenced by Islamic Art in their designs. It was a most enjoyable and informative tour and we thank Uthra for her time and expertise.
Carolyn Jones (Hon. Sec. Altrincham Interfaith Group).