Sunday, January 23, 2011

Museo Textil de Oaxaca

In the heart of the city of Oaxaca an eighteenth century mansion houses the Museo Textil de Oaxaca [MTO]. Since its inception in 2008, the MTO’s mission has been to provide a broad view of the designs, techniques and creative processes for the manufacture of textiles from Oaxaca, Mexico and the world. It does this through the ongoing exchange of expertise through conferences, workshops and exhibitions. The museum hosts exhibitions, does conservation and preservation, has an extensive private collection, ho;ds classes and workshops, and has a store which sells, yarn, clothing, and publications. It’s worth your time checking out their website for the photography. Sorry but Google translate can’t do much with the website directly but cutting and pasting text into Google translate works quite well you just need two windows open. If you take the time you’ll get some insight into the sophistication of this project. They constantly change exhibits, run classes and workshops, maintain a museum collection and library, do conservation and restoration, and have a wonderful museum store. If you want a closer look at the museum’s activities they keep a diary El Diario Oficial del MTO. The diary runs through Google translate quite well. It is made up of individual articles on topics such as natural dyes, costumes, articles on individual weaving villages, conservation activities, individual weavers, and a short picture story of the restoration of the building itself. The interests here are both broad and deep. While most of the focus goes to local artisans they have both knowledge and a worldview of textiles. Like good jazz they both respect the tradition while blowing open the boundaries of the art. For some examples of exhibitions you can look here.

The Current exhibition at MTO is called Pinthlia, a contraction of painting (pintura) and spin (hilar). Pinthila is the work of Natividad Amador and is a collaboration with other Oaxacan artists. After studying fine art at the University of Oaxaca Bonito Jaurez shedecided that her painting was lacking something. so she returned to her home in Juchitán where she found what she was looking for in the typical Isthmus textiles with chain stitch embroidery also know as "tejido" (weaving). She developed her technique by finding different angles to the stitch to get her contrast of tones and to generate shades and depth in order to paint in textile. She next established a dialogue with other artists that she considered to be masters. The result is on display until February 6th.

I have large format photos on picasa some with fine detail. The large format photos can be blown up using the magnifying glass icon, then made even larger with the + icon on the upper left. This detail shot of the bird figure gives some idea of the complexity of her work. I hope you take time to look them over. Natividad's work is quite fantastic. Enjoy!

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