I've had a fascination with amulets for a very long time, from my travels to making a journal quilt and shrine for lost earrings.
|Turkmen child's kurta, Afghanistan ( from Amulets by Sheila Paine )|
My first outing with the ' Drawing Tuesday' group was drawing amulets in the Islamic Gallery at the British Museum
Also seen in the Islamic Gallery on another occasion was this amuletic cloak by Bita Ghezelayagh
I first came across talismanic/ charm shirts in the ' Turks' Exhibition at the Royal Academy in 2005 and the example above in the fabulous ' Fabric of India' exhibition at the V&A in 2015.
Then in 2019 I drew a talismanic cloth at the Brunei gallery , SOAS ( below)
Recently on my first visit to the British Museum since lockdown ( !) I came across this wonderful Talismanic Tunic in the Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic World
It was also shown at the inspiring Grayson Perry ' Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman' exhibition in 2011 - this detail of the tunic is from the book
The back of the tunic ( and other 'Charm Cloths') are included in John Gillow's books on African Textiles and Islamic textiles. Besides books, I've bought many textiles from John over the years: kanthas , ikats, indigo and he gave us the details of a dealer in Yazd, Iran.
All this delightful research among my books and online was prompted by the idea of making a talismanic shirt from Colour Catchers as my contribution to Lito Apostalokou's participatory project "Clothesyoullneverwear" ( as featured in the Evening Standard!). Lito was a fellow student at City Lit on collage and EDAM courses and I sent her a box of fabrics etc ( which has made no impression on my stash... ) which has already been put to use in making some fantastic garments based on memories of clothes. The course I did earlier in the year on Time and Memory, highlighted the importance of fabrics to me, I think I'll have to do some 'mind mapping' to explore this more and decide what I'm going to make. It might even be a hat !
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