Egyptian Tentmakers Exhibition, Durham, 11-15 Nov 2011

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Egyptian tent making

CASAW is delighted to be sponsoring, along with St Mary’s College and the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University, an exhibition of tentmakers’ work from the Tentmakers Suq in Cairo.

Following a long tradition of creating spectacular tent linings, artisans in Cairo continue to produce, against many odds, intricate hand-done needle-turned appliqué. Smaller works, like the pieces in this exhibition, are made for use in homes as wall hangings or bedcovers. Tentmaking is an age-old tradition of creating hangings to decorate tents and festive occasions. Appliquéd by hand and not quilted, the hangings demonstrate a high degree of craftsmanship and are vibrant artistic expressions of cultural identity. We are proud to bring greater attention to this endangered Middle Eastern craft.

In the hope of supporting a craft that has been declining over the past few decades, the works will be for sale and available for Public Viewing at Kenworthy Hall, St Mary’s College, Durham University on Friday 11 November 10am-4pm; Saturday 12 November to Monday 14 November 10am-6pm; Tuesday 15 November 10am-2pm.

Jenny Bowker, a distinguished quilter from Australia who lived for over fifteen years in the Middle East, is bringing both these textiles and one of the tentmakers, himself to Durham. There will also be a set of Public Lectures in Durham on Monday 14 November at 8pm at Kenworthy Hall, St Mary’s College. Jenny Bowker will give a talk entitled The Tentmakers of Cairo and Seif El Rashidi, Durham World Heritage Site Coordinator, will speak on The Art and Architecture of Medieval Cairo and Its Infuence on Tentmaking.

St Mary’s College is located on Elvet Hill Road, Durham DH1 3LR (general telephone: 0191 334 5719).

All welcome.



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