Nottingham Exhibition - Living in Silk
31 March - 16 September 2012
Living in Silk was a major exhibition of outstanding silk garments, accessories and textiles from the five thousand year history of Chinese silk production. The exhibition combined artefacts from the collection of the China National Silk Museum, Hangzhou, with Unravelled, a companion display drawn from Nottingham City Museums and Galleries' collection of Chinese textiles.
The China National Silk Museum holds some of China's national treasures – material of international significance which will visited the UK for the first time for this prestigious exhibition at Nottingham Castle. The exhibition began with some of the earliest surviving fragments of silk cloth in the world, continued with sumptuous garments and accessories from the Qing and other dynasties, and culminated in the present day. As well as giving a taste of the rich colour, symbolism and exquisite craftsmanship of Chinese silk, the exhibition also provided a glimpse in to how silk has been produced over several millennia.
Alongside Living in Silk, Unravelled was a vibrant exhibition selected by Illuminate, Nottingham Museums' Young Arts Collective. In the months preceding the exhibition, Illuminate delved in to the museum stores to explore Nottingham's stunning collection of Chinese silk garments, accessories and textiles. They uncovered some of the stories behind the objects and devised tales of their own, working with museum staff on all aspects of the exhibition. They found that some items had not been exhibited for over 20 years; whilst others had never been on public display. They also discovered that much of the collection was acquired in 1879, the year after the Castle Museum & Art Gallery opened to the public, when its aim was to collect decorative art to inspire designers in Nottingham's textile industry. Unravelled brings some of these beautiful objects back in to the public gaze, to inspire a whole new generation.
ArtReach is the Regional Coordinator for the Dress the World project. To visit ArtReach's website, please click here