Friday, May 6, 2011

Everyday pleasure..

Aside from the sheer artistry, I think the most appealing aspect of Kyrgyz textile tradition has to be the way in which women embellished everyday utilitarian objects with skill and care.   Highly decorative central Asian hats, for example, were principally a marker of identity...ethnicity, gender, status, age...yet many were surely a source of pride and pleasure for the creator.   Viewed now, they are miniature works of art.
Similarly, the various pouches, bags and sacks essential for nomadic life if precious domestic items were to be safely transported were also typically decorative.   Along with my treasured collection of hats, I have several richly embroidered favourite that probably held coins or jewellery or perhaps sewing items is worked in a unique, gloriously intricate design.  Sadly its too delicate to use but the power and confidence of the design is strong and brings to mind the hands and spirit that created it and the pleasure it doubtless brought her...
Working on projects for our morning tea I’ve been thinking a lot about the enjoyment that flows from using beautiful everyday objects ... that small jolt of pleasure that comes from a detail only you can see, like the printed lining of a handbag.    Presented with so many practical but often throw away options for storing the essentials of contemporary life, its easy to understand why generations of women across textile cultures have continued to create and personalise the  little things  that can so enrich the everyday.