Sunday, August 20, 2017

My favorite things 34

My parents traveled frequently to South America and brought home various souvenirs that my siblings and I now own.  One of my favorites is this fragment of weaving from Peru, made by the Nasca people in about 1500 A.D.

It's not the oldest thing I own, but is by far the oldest textile, and is well preserved; the dry climate of the coastal deserts west of the Andes has kept lots of cloth in excellent condition over many centuries.  It has the traditional birds, steps and spirals of ancient Peruvian textiles, and its red and gold colors are still relatively bright.

After I'd owned this for many years, I bought a contemporary piece of embroidery that shares the pre-Columbian sensibility, a small piece by my very good friend Bette Levy.  It has four mask/faces painstakingly executed in couched metallic threads, onto a frayed linen background that looks a whole lot like the real antique.

(My apologies for the reflections and glare in all the images, because both textiles are framed under glass.  I know that glass protects fragile art, both from dust and flying objects and from UV light, but I always wish that textiles would be open so they can be better seen and appreciated.)

Of course the two pieces had to be hung together, and that's how they have been for a decade, keeping one another company across the centuries.

1 comment:

  1. What a spectacular piece of weaving! I love seeing Bette's piece with it. Thanks for sharing these.