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The Dynamics of African Textiles: From Land to Hand to Loom

Posted by Ellen Strickland on

Livingreen continues to search both locally and globally for sustainable solutions to standard building and design practices. Many of the best examples are found in different cultures where they have been used for hundreds of years. Beginning June 1st Livingreen Gallery is showing and selling a collection of dynamic African textiles and artifacts that represent powerful combinations of indigenous natural materials with imports in an exhibition ‘From Land To Hand To Loom’.

Textiles in Africa have a wide range of uses –– to provide shelter, protection, royal decoration, homage to deities, decoration in shrines, backdrops for ceremonies, transformation in performance. Colors and patterns carry meaning, stories are woven into fabrics of tradition, cultural change appears in the evolution of materials and style of dress. Imported fabrics are often dismantled and recycled into new creative visions.

In all there is a fabulous collection of both contemporary and antique textiles from various parts of Africa –– Asante Kente cloth, Nigerian ceremonial wraps, Kuba cloth, Mali mudcloth, king’s robes, Adinkra cloth, batik, wax-resist, barkcloth, Asafo military company flags.

An on-going market features several well-known African artists in appliqué and wax resist, trade beads, books, house posts, baskets, and ready-to-wear fabrics.

A percentage of the exhibition proceeds go to KIND, an African organization that provides vocational training and empowerment for women and children in West Africa.


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