• Date and time: Thursday 29 November 2018, 6.30pm to 8.00pm
  • Location: Bowland Auditorium, Berrick Saul Building, Campus West, University of York (Map)
  • Audience: Open to all
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

Islamic Art Circle

Please note the change in venue from that previously advertised. 

Cloth was, and continues to be, a unifier across the Islamic world. The title of this exhibition refers to the Prophet Muhammad bringing together four leaders who all wanted to raise the sacred Black Stone from the ground up to the Ka’ba in Mecca. They placed the stone in the centre of a cloth so that each could take a corner and lift together.

At the heart of this exhibition is a nearly 100-year-old fragment of kiswa cloth. The kiswa covers the Ka’ba and is replaced annually during Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca); each year sections are cut and distributed across the world. This is a textile of religious significance but not all of the works on display are connected to worship. Socks, rugs, bedding and tablecloths are included; objects made in beautiful and careful ways for everyday use.

This talk will explore the making of the exhibition. It will offer an insight into the Islamic textiles in the Whitworth’s collection as well as the contributions made by Manchester’s Islamic communities.

Uthra Rajgopal and Amy George, The Whitworth, Manchester

Uthra Rajgopal is the Assistant Curator of Textiles and Wallpaper at the Whitworth and is a former graduate of York University (BA (Hons) History of Art, 2010) and the Courtauld Institute of Art (MA History of Art, 2011). With a background in working with museum dress and textile collections, commercial archives and exhibitions, Uthra has developed a specialist interest in South Asian textiles and has been a contributing author to Textile History and Authenticity and Replication: The ‘Real Thing’ in Art and Conservation and is a former lecturer at Manchester School of Art (MMU). Since joining the Whitworth, Uthra has worked on the Islamic textile collection, and has curated the exhibitions Raqib Shaw and Beyond Borders, both part of the New North-South partnership.

Amy George is Curator of Textiles and Wallpaper at the Whitworth. Amy has curated a number of exhibitions that have explored strengths in the textiles and wallpaper collection, focusing in recent years on textiles from West Africa and South Asia and mid-century British wallpaper design. She has developed a particular interest in contemporary artists who use textiles and wallpaper in their practice and has worked on: Beryl Korot: Text and Commentary (2013), Aisha Khalid: Larger Than Life (2013), Sarah Lucas (2015), Cornelia Parker: Magna Carter (An Embroidery) (2016), and, with Dr Jennifer Harris, two group shows of international artists: COTTON: Global Threads (2012) and Art_Textiles (2015), for which she contributed to the exhibition catalogue.

Please note the change in venue from that previously advertised. 

Venue details

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Hearing loop