Saturday night John Gillow presented a detailed and story-filled account of his travels in the Islamic world. It was a visual journey and the audience were fortunate to be able to see and handle the textiles first-hand.
In John's own words his travelling life began like this:
Fourty years ago as a young schoolboy, I travelled to Istanbul. I found myself a cheap place to stay. The next morning I awoke with a start to the call of the muezzin, a sound that was to become increasingly familiar over the decades, as I spent more and more time in the Muslim world.
As I wandered around the bazaar, I was entranced by carpets, furs, beaten brass, carved wood and exotic soilver jewelry, none of which a poor schoolboy’s pockets could afford. What did find were scraps of Ottoman embroidery, which were then very cheap, and which I bought as presents for my sister, girlfriend, and doting grandmother. I was hooked – not just on the textiles themselves but on the lives of the peasants and nomads who had created them. I resolved there and then to lead a life of travel, focused on finding out more about hand-crafted textiles and their origins.
Bryan Whitehead's lecture on October 2nd is sold out. But his excellent work is on exhibit (and for sale) at the Silk Weaving Studio. A visit is well rewarded.