Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra
Ramblings about walls – both real and psychological:
First we build walls – one brick at a time – little unsaid things that build up like masonry and stack up until an isolation room is built.
Reason? To protect all that is fragile and precious. Ego, Advantage, Insecurities, Treasures. And with these walls, we not only protect but also imprison.
Yet, throughout our lives, through one endeavor or another, we attempt to penetrate the walls of others.
At the same time we strengthen our own, glorify them and we hang up pictures on them – so that we see them not as ugly barriers but as pretty constructs with meaningful justifications and purpose.
It appears to us that without walls the risk is too high.
But what if it is the walls that create a risk and a liability?
Those with too much to lose – ego – advantage etc etc – might be cynical about experimenting.
But some who have seen significant loss have changed their ways in the other direction – that of building walls that are weaker not stronger – walls that are flexible, walls that are foldable.
In Japan where the weight of the concrete wall can cause fatal damage, we see paper walls. Nomads all over who see ‘impermanence of structure’ as an asset and permanence as a liability, use fabric to construct their dwellings as well as the inner walls.
And with this we come to the textile that led me into all that rumination: Beautiful Turkish Cicims that are used as tent dividers. Functional fabrics used as walls.
Examples of Turkish nomadic tents:
Nomadic Tent [pic from the digital library of Koc University]
A tent divider* [pic from the digital library of Koc University]
These simple tent dividers when worked upon can become works of art such as this one
Maybe these objects of textile art are good for the soul in more ways than one! Maybe there is something spiritual to be learned from them!
By Jaina Mishra