The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM

Notes on Culture & Antique Art, Ethnic Decor & Vintage Fashion | Wovensouls Art Gallery

Animal Love

We all love our animals! The Qashqai weaver put hers in her rug while I had a few sweet moments with a sheep & a goat in my lap! See … Continue reading

August 4, 2019 · Leave a comment

Lion of Punjab – Sher-e-Punjab

Punjab – the land that has been facing invasions for centuries – values bravery and courage. And the lion offers an excellent metaphor for these values. Maharana Ranjit Singh was … Continue reading

July 8, 2019 · 4 Comments

Bless the Kohistani Creator!

“Gulposh kabhi itraaye kahin Mehke to nazar aa jaaye kahin” Only the brilliant A. R. Rahman’s lyrics are appropriate for this outstanding masterpiece from Kohistan. “A flower may try to … Continue reading

January 1, 2019 · Leave a comment

Opium Culture – History in Art

There is too much that I do not know anything about and the role that opium played in the history of China is one of them. Were it not for … Continue reading

December 24, 2018 · Leave a comment

Boundless Creativity in Motifs

Superb embroidered motifs from the North West Frontier Province region photographed from faded fragments of dress-fronts! Enjoy the feast: What thought-paths created these very aesthetically pleasing unique motifs that have … Continue reading

December 21, 2018 · Leave a comment

Service or Sacrilege? The Dilemma of Textile Art Fragments

Have you seen these? Amazing creativity isn’t it?!! ❤️ The ones that I have are in good but not in perfect condition – usage, withering natural life of the fibre … Continue reading

October 18, 2018 · Leave a comment

Artwork of the Day

A Peacock takes a little ram for a walk! What an endearing example of folk creativity! Seen in this most-beloved AntiqueQashqai Shekarlu rug that I cannot get enough of! More … Continue reading

October 2, 2018 · Leave a comment

A Man and His Dowry

In many parts of North Africa, at the time of the proposal the families discuss the dowry the man is willing to pay to get his bride. The dowry is … Continue reading

August 7, 2018 · Leave a comment

Beauty of The Checkerboard

Checkerboards are simple forms. Not much creativity needed to create these basic geometric forms. It could even be said that checkerboard motifs are born during one’s lazier creative moments. But … Continue reading

July 28, 2018 · Leave a comment

A New Mystery -Ancient Terracotta Blocks 

Seen in one of the important trading hubs of the old Silk Route – and retrieved with difficulty from the back of  a dealer’s dusty shelf, lying in a plastic … Continue reading

May 23, 2018 · 1 Comment

Manila Manton Shawls – Early Global Textiles

Presenting a small online exhibition of palimpsest textiles – with layers of art, craft and culture contained within: The Canton Shawl aka Manila Manton aka Fringed Flapper Shawl

April 12, 2018 · Leave a comment

Wealth of Motifs – Fulani Art!

What if we measured the wealth of nations by the number of indigenous motifs it has? Or the cultural history within those? Would we be fighting the same wars? Here … Continue reading

April 10, 2018 · Leave a comment

A Weaver’s Heirloom Patan Patola Sari

Rediscovering a piece from the weaver’s heirlooms – a bridal sari with fabulous double ikat hand woven raw silk!

April 10, 2018 · Leave a comment

Responsibility of Caring for an Antique Yuncu Kilim

An endearing note from the dealer who sold me this …

March 26, 2018 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Beshir Rug with Ikat Motif

A simple little work of textile art getting its time in the morning sun! This little piece was most probably woven by Beshir nomads in Turkmenistan. With a good exchange … Continue reading

March 21, 2018 · Leave a comment

How did Elibelinde travel to the Swat Valley?

One more example of migration of cultural memes that might hold a clue to historical events

March 18, 2018 · Leave a comment

Material Pleasures

When I was young I desired a million things but had no money to buy them with. Now when I am old, I have more money but very few things … Continue reading

March 12, 2018 · Leave a comment

Sentinels & Thresholds 

The threshold is a very important line in a traditional Indian home.  It is washed and decorated beautifully every day with auspicious symbols  drawn in powder by the woman of … Continue reading

February 28, 2018 · 4 Comments

Daily Art Fix – from Gujarat again!

Late 14th–early 15th century printed textile – Gujarat! Met Museum https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/72747 Celebrate Gujarat!! Feb 2018 jaina mishra| wovensouls View more exquisite antique textiles and more on

February 7, 2018 · Leave a comment

Soldiers in Silk – Guns & Roses

This mesmerising silk Amli embroidery on a square pashmina shawl is from the 1800s and depicts soldiers circling around a thriving establishment. Note the deliberately highlighted flowers (roses?) amidst the … Continue reading

February 4, 2018 · 1 Comment

A Kalamkari Coverlet – Antique Indian Textiles

A visit to any museum can be exhausting and the maximum I can handle is about 1 – 2 hours of exposure. In any given hall there are always too … Continue reading

January 23, 2018 · 2 Comments

The Bridal Sari of the erstwhile Queen of Sawantwadi 1922

I’ve seen a dozen or so amazing  antique zari  saris but none has been as unusual as this one seen in the museum of Sawantwadi, This shalu – a zari … Continue reading

December 27, 2017 · 6 Comments

On My Coffee Table 

The advantage of my nomadic life is that I forget tbe pieces strewn around the other spaces that I dwell in (and that dwell inside me….).  and so I see … Continue reading

December 21, 2017 · 1 Comment

Walking the Dog

And the bird in the cage. Scene in a double sided embroidery from the early 1900s.  But could well have been a snapshot from modern day Singapore!  More photos of … Continue reading

November 12, 2017 · Leave a comment

The Art of War – Motifs in an Embroidery

Surely Sun Zhu meant THIS arr?  More photos coming soon on WOVENSOULS.com

November 11, 2017 · Leave a comment

Art of Africa

Of course Africa is too large to be clubbed into one art group … But that made a nice title … The Art of the Yoruba caught my eye recently. … Continue reading

October 25, 2017 · Leave a comment

Negative Spaces

“Negative space, in art, is the space around and between the subject(s) of an image. Negative space may be most evident when the space around a subject, not the subject … Continue reading

September 30, 2017 · Leave a comment

Women in Art – Literally

A series of textiles with women depicted in the art! 🙂   And more   The ones above are from old textiles. Here’s one from a recently made banarasi brocade … Continue reading

September 25, 2017 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix -Sindh Dowry Embroidery

Bless the woman who made this!! A great way to start my day …. with a dose of beauty – gives the heart a small positive kickstart!  Sept 2017

September 20, 2017 · Leave a comment

Who doesn’t enjoy Music in the Park! 

MUSIC IN THE PARK – Notes in Silk!!! Just received this beauty made in Canton a century ago! Am yet to count the number of instruments being played  in this … Continue reading

September 12, 2017 · 2 Comments

Courtship in Silk

Daily Art Fix – motif on an amazing wearable antique cantonese shawl!  ❤️

September 10, 2017 · Leave a comment

From One Nomad to Another

These lovely motifs from a nomadic tent band now decorate my life  And they say material things cannot make one happy!?! Am finding that a great way to start the … Continue reading

June 27, 2017 · 2 Comments

An Antique Selfie

Embroidered picture of a woman doing embroidery!!  And the millenials thought they were the ones to invent selfies!!  From an early 1900s shawl. More about that later… 😊

June 23, 2017 · 2 Comments

Dragons and Serpents from Laos – Textile Art

According to Lao mythology the Naga are the protectors of the Lao state and it is quite natural that they are found in all the forms of art practiced there. … Continue reading

January 20, 2017 · Leave a comment

The Mesmerising Qashqai Motif

Clans do things similarly. Like make curry in a particular way, or wear their sari in a particular way. Or weave the central medallion in their rugs using one template. … Continue reading

October 27, 2016 · Leave a comment

Art of the Universe – Yao Shaman Robes

Yao painting scrolls, Yao dragon bridges and now Yao Shaman robes! The Yao group has created several forms of art while pursuing their spiritual goals! Led by priests called Shamans, … Continue reading

October 3, 2016 · 2 Comments

A Hybrid is Born

In the olden days textile-art hybrids came about when a woman married into another group and brought with her art-memes from her parental culture. Today the world has shrunk and … Continue reading

August 31, 2016 · 3 Comments

Birds of a feather…

      Daily art fix jm June 2016

June 1, 2016 · Leave a comment

Motifs from Africa – Fulani Blanket – Available for Sale

The bad news is that we’ll NEVER feel the satisfaction of having seen it ALL. The good news is that we’ll NEVER feel the satisfaction of having seen it ALL. … Continue reading

May 17, 2016 · Leave a comment

Little Purses for Big Money

Coin purses from the olden days …. When the coins were small & made of gold & silver and their value was huge! When there was no fiat money or … Continue reading

April 28, 2016 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Motifs from Tibet

  No words.

March 27, 2016 · Leave a comment

Motif & Meaning – Dayak Heritage

The title is a misnomer as this note does not offer the meaning of this motif. This note only puts together several lifestyle objects to show that this motif has … Continue reading

December 12, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Emperor’s Robe of ‘Literacy’

They were called illiterate. Because those who decided this wrote with pen and paper wrote in characters and not pictures used a different script logic * had a qualitatively different … Continue reading

November 23, 2015 · Leave a comment

Motif & Meaning – Caravans & Herders

More textiles, more meaning! Here are some created by a Bishnoi group from Rajasthan India. These motifs that tell us about their lives through their portrayal of the cultural elements … Continue reading

November 22, 2015 · Leave a comment

Mathematics Lessons or Works of Textile Art?

MATH & ART The subjects of math and art are perceived to be orthogonal and mutually exclusive. The left brain-right brain theorists have us believe that in general, an individual … Continue reading

September 22, 2015 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Dhingli motif in Kutch Shawls

A ‘dhingli’ (doll) motif that symbolises a term of endearment for the girl-child  from a vintage cotton Odhana textile from the wovensouls collection. Aug 2015

August 25, 2015 · Leave a comment

Karakalpak Motifs – Art in Geometry

              Sometimes it is enough to just enjoy the visual without knowing the meaning… View the complete piece and other images here on wovensouls,com … Continue reading

July 3, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Lore of a Kilim Rug | The Lure of a Kilim Rug

One day a Yürük tribal chief saw a kilim rug cast on the ground by a tent. Looking at it brought anguish to his heart, so he called on his … Continue reading

June 21, 2015 · 1 Comment

One Textile – Many Motifs

As I obsess over this gorgeous Kilim I am noticing more & more of its virtues that make me love it even more. Here I’m sharing some of the pictures … Continue reading

June 9, 2015 · 1 Comment

The Wild Child – Soul of a Kilim

First steps in the world of Kilims. I don’t know the rules. I don’t know what to look for. I have no books. And I have no museums to learn … Continue reading

June 4, 2015 · 1 Comment

Daily Art Fix – Vintage Embroidery

Large rectangular panels on Khaddar cloth embroidered with hand spun cotton thread & silk floss on stenciled cloth. Gujarat India.

April 15, 2015 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Dharaniyo from Gujarat

 

April 14, 2015 · Leave a comment

Lines of Symphony – Textile Art

“My soul is a hidden orchestra; I know not what instruments, what fiddlestrings and harps, drums and tamboura I sound and clash inside myself. All I hear is the symphony.” … Continue reading

April 2, 2015 · Leave a comment

Tribal Motifs from Rajasthan – Fusion of Logical Geometry & Art

I love the simplicity of thought! View the complete shawls here jm Mar 2015

March 14, 2015 · Leave a comment

Wild Lines | Textile Art Drawings

To create art – one must have great imagination & visualisation skills. To create a visual that is wildly different from everything else that existed earlier using basic lines is … Continue reading

February 28, 2015 · Leave a comment

Mystical Banjara Textiles – continued

Continuation of the Note on Banjara textiles

October 31, 2014 · 3 Comments

Motif & Meaning – 4 | The Case of the Butter Churning Girls

Curious coincidences in Textile Art from two different regions explored

October 9, 2014 · Leave a comment

Motif & Meaning – 2

Looking for Meaning in Textile Motifs

September 8, 2014 · 1 Comment

Motif & Meaning in Textiles – 1 Preface

A part of my fascination with traditional textiles emanates from the stories hidden within them. The cultural aspects – who wore them, for what occasion, who made them and how … Continue reading

September 8, 2014 · 1 Comment

Mystical Banjara Textiles

What does one get when the women of a social group have a strong intellect, happiness in their hearts and time on their hands? Art. Art that is used to … Continue reading

July 2, 2014 · 2 Comments

Ancient Art Motifs of Egypt

As I walk through the exhibits in the museum, it occurs to me that the Egyptian tombs were treasure troves not only of gold but also of art. The objects … Continue reading

June 29, 2014 · 2 Comments

Spectacular Embroidery Art from the Patel Community of Kutch

  On all my trips to the Kutch, I have only seen 4 such saris. Motifs & Color that are similar to those from the North West Provinces – but … Continue reading

November 5, 2013 · Leave a comment

Antique Colonial-Era Saris

Two rare & unique saris from a bygone era. Rare because of their age. Unique because of the unique English motifs woven into the borders of the sari – woven … Continue reading

November 2, 2013 · 2 Comments

Tampan – the bewitching extinct weaving of Lampung

 Weaving ceased in Lampung at the end of the 19th century. Ceased. Extinct. Forever. This fact would be tragic even if we were speaking of some other geography. But once … Continue reading

February 10, 2013 · 3 Comments

Mewar Diaries

Rajasthan needs no introduction. Colors flood my senses from the moment I drive into the city of Udaipur from the airport late in the evening. After stopping to pick up … Continue reading

April 20, 2012 · 2 Comments

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