LECTURE Living Textiles of Mexico

by - Monday, May 16, 2011

2011 Maiwa Textile Symposium Lecture

Sheri Brautigam    $15
Thursday September 22 - 7:30 pm
Net Loft Granville Island, Vancouver, Canada

Like people, textiles have lives. Among the indigenous groups of Mexico, an attempt to bring a textile tradition back to life is known as a rescate (a rescue). When a textile is rescued it becomes part of a living, contemporary tradition.

Rural indigenous communities now wear their costumes as a form of self-identity. Middle-class mestizo-Mexicans modify costumes into a more personal style for national holidays and regional fiestas. Join Sheri Brautigam as she explores the diversity and spectrum of these “living” textiles: the variety, quality, methods of production, and materials.

Sheri will also tell the story of how one Mazahua community revived a beautiful traditional wool skirt weighing 4.5 kilos. It is one of the oldest and most striking of the Mazahua garments. Hand-spinning, natural dyes, back-strap weaving, and fine embellishment come together in a spectacular community fiesta where this costume is worn.

In addition to a recovering local market, indigenous artisans are experiencing a renewed interest in their work from both Mexican and international collectors. Sheri will look at the fine art of collecting contemporary work and guide the audience through what to look for and where to go with a consideration of what type of collecting strengthens traditional communities and encourages exceptional work.

Sheri will also present some of the groups who have helped make these revivals possible. Remigio Mestas from Oaxaca supports more than 200 weavers from a number of distinct linguistic groups. The Sna Jolobil co-operative of Chiapas has over 800 weavers from highland Maya communities.

Sheri Brautigam

Sheri Brautigam has been a full-time resident of Mexico for the past four years. She presently lives in the colonial city of Oaxaca, where she pursues her passion for documenting the contemporary indigenous textiles of Mexico.

Sheri first visited (and fell in love with) Mexico in the 1960s when she spent a semester in Mexico as part of her university education. She completed a B.A. in Latin American History in Mexico City.

In the late ’70s and ’80s Sheri was a surface design artist who made art-to-wear and other products from her design studio in San Francisco. She has taught marketing and surface design in several institutions in the Bay area, Portland, and Vancouver. For several years she used her studio as a gallery to represent the work of textile artists to the interior design community. Her familiarity with production work has given her a valuable insight into the viability of contemporary textile practices.

Sheri’s Textile Blog: livingtextilesofmexico.wordpress.com

Arte de Mexico - Textile Mazahua Issue - Spring 2011 -
“Endangered Costume from Santa Rosa de Lima, Mexico”

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