Event - Threads: The Art and Life of Surayia Rahman

by - Friday, May 16, 2014

[2014 Symposium registration opens June 23 at 10am.]

2014 Maiwa Textile Symposium
Event - Threads:
The Art and Life of Surayia Rahman

with Director Cathy Stevulak

$15  September 25, 7:45pm
Net Loft: Granville Is. Vancouver BC

She transformed the nakshi kantha quiltwork of Bangladesh into an elaborate form of tapestry that could rival any in the world. 

She began to train and employ destitute women to help her stitch these kantha tapestry masterworks. She drew stories from history, poetry, and daily life, and a company of highly skilled women brought her visions to perfection. She worked constantly, tirelessly. She worked until she could no longer draw and even then she made plans to provide a future for the hundreds of artisans who stitched these magnificent works.

This is Surayia Rahman’s story: a complex tale of how she came to be an artist, of how she lost control of her designs, and of how ultimately fate decided that the work needed to come back to her.

It is also the story of how one woman’s art can empower hundreds—and transform their lives.

Cathy Stevulak first experienced Surayia’s art when she lived and worked in Bangladesh. Threads is the result of over four years of research, filming, and still photography in locations around the world. 

Cathy will provide a behind-the-scenes talk after the film and answer questions. She will also have some of Surayia’s work on hand for the audience to examine. 

Surayia Rahman’s work has been gifted to world leaders including Queen Elizabeth II to Kim Il-Sung and is held in museums and private collections around the world.

Cathy Stevulak, international project manager and filmmaker, is co-founder of Kantha Productions LLC.  In cooperation with filmmakers in Bangladesh, Canada, and the United States, Cathy is leading the Threads project to document the life, textile stories, and social contributions of artist Surayia Rahman of Bangladesh.

Cathy grew up in Alberta, Canada, and had multiple craft projects on the go throughout her early life. She has had a lifelong interest in beauty made by hand.  With Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Cathy co-organized the exhibition and lecture “Traditional Textiles of Bangladesh” (2005).  She advised the Textile Museum of Canada in its early development of corporate partnerships. Cathy was Senior Governance Adviser with United Nations Development Programme in Bangladesh and has lived and worked internationally for over 20 years. 

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