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10 - 12pm, Thursday 23rd Jan

Press View


Seven Female Compiled Collectors - Unbound: Visionary Women Collecting Textiles

Textiles and costume give us a beautiful and intensely human insight into our history. Unbound: Visionary Women Collecting Textiles celebrates seven pioneering women who saw beyond the purely functional, to reveal the extraordinary artistic, social and cultural importance of textiles.

Unbound includes sculptural 18th-century costume, intricately embroidered Balkan towels, headdresses and waistcoats, the 1920 and 1930s block printed fabrics of Barron and Larcher, as well as contemporary works: Alice Kettle’s huge machine embroidered panels Three Caryatids (1989-91), Yinka Shonibare’s 2007 model of the last slave ship The Wanderer reimagined with ‘African’ batik fabric sails and Sarbjit Natt’s 1996 geometric patterned silk sari.

The exhibition looks at how these collections continue to influence us today and asks why textiles still have to fight for their place amongst the more established visual arts.



Temple 2 Temple Pl, WC2R 3BD