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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 4:18 pm 
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There is an exhibition 'Indigo: A Blue to Dye for' running at The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, UK until 15 April 2007. See a review with some photos at http://www.24hourmuseum.org.uk/exh_gfx_en/ART43034.html

The exhibit will also run at Plymouth City Art Gallery and Museum from 19 May - 1 September 2007 and Brighton Museum and Art Gallery from 29 September 2007 - 6 January 2008.

Jenny Balfour-Paul - whose book 'Indigo' has been reissued (but not updated) - to coincide with the exhibition has been a consultant in the preparation of the exhibition which has been curated by Jenny Harris, Curator of Textiles at the Whitworth.


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File comment: Shihoko Fukumoto installation 2003 (detail). Courtesy Whitworth Art Gallery
2006_0250.jpg
2006_0250.jpg [ 23.59 KiB | Viewed 4487 times ]

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 6:48 pm 
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On Saturday I spent a day in Brighton as part of a joint day between the Oxford Asian Textile Group and the Southern Counties group of The Costume Society. Jenny Balfour-Paul who was closely involved in the planning of the current Whitworth travelling exhibit on Indigo, 'Indigo: A Blue to Dye for', was a guest of the two groups in the morning and gave us a very stimulating talk on indigo and her involvement in the study of it over 20 plus years. After lunch the small OATG group were fortunate to be take around the major part of the exhibition which is in the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery by Jenny. A couple of us then set off to Hove where the balance of the exhibition is in a couple of rooms of the Hove Museum and Art Gallery. Both museums have quite good cafes so there is an opportunity to get sustenance for the body as well as stimulation of the mind!

I would strongly recommend anyone who can make it to Brighton and Hove before the exhibition closes on 6 Jan 2008 should do so to see the exhibition(s). http://www.brighton.virtualmuseum.info/ ... indigo.asp

Clearly the Whitworth would have been the best place to see the exhibit but at least most of the items are available in Brighton albeit spread over the two museums. In Plymouth several items were not able to be displayed.

Items on display are mainly from the Whitworth, the British Museum and from Jenny's own collection. There is a fascinating model of indigo processing in Bengal from the end of the 19th century which was stored in a corridor of the RHS at Kew and was almost destroyed as it was so politically incorrect. Thankfully it has been saved and restored. It is a wonderful model and certainly brings home the shocking conditions under which indigo was produced.

There was some talk that the exhibition - which is certainly a major landmark display on indigo with some wonderful textiles on display - may be travelling internationally and Washington was mentioned. I will post any further information that I learn and would advise anyone who is able to try and get to see it.

If anyone has the chance to hear Jenny Balfour-Paul talk she is well worth listening to. She is bubbling with enthusiasm for her subject and full of a considerable breadth of knowledge. She has researched indigo around the world and more recently has become involved with the links of indigo to slavery. She was also telling us about the work that is being done on the medicinal uses of indigo and also a resurgence of interest in growing indigo - in its various plant forms - for natural dyeing but on a commercial scale harnessing technology to stabilise the results and, hopefully, improve the social conditions of its production.


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File comment: Indigo: dyer's hand holding dyed and undyed yarns Tunisia 1995 © Jenny Balfour-Paul
indigo-dyers-hand_000.jpg
indigo-dyers-hand_000.jpg [ 30.95 KiB | Viewed 3916 times ]

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