Japanese patchwork on show at Ararat exhibition

Japanese patchwork on show at Ararat exhibition

Rich and colourful stories of Japanese culture will be explored in a new textile exhibition opening in Ararat from Saturday, 26 June.

The Thread of Life: Japanese Textiles exhibition, includes a loan of boro textiles from a private collection, as well as artworks from the Ararat Gallery TAMA Collection.

Boroboro, a Japanese term for rags, carries a rich history within the intricate stitches of these patched textiles. Today the indigo, hand-patched garments and quilts are known by the term boro.

Mayor Jo Armstrong said the inclusion of such pieces for our upcoming exhibition is a great achievement.

“The Gallery has a real vision for telling stories. We’re delighted to host such unique pieces of Japanese history from Leanne O’Sullivan’s private collection, which includes over 20 pieces of vintage boro fabric — a first for Ararat Rural City,” Cr Armstrong said.

“We’re privileged to have a top-class Gallery in our region, that supports access to the arts and brings a celebration of cultures to our community.”

Melbourne-based collector Leanne O’Sullivan first encountered the intriguing art of indigo patchwork while living in Japan in the 1980s.

“Whilst living in Japan I was constantly inspired by the extreme contrasts around me – everywhere I looked there seemed to be a mix of the traditional and contemporary co-existing beautifully,” said Ms O’Sullivan.

The pieces have been gathered on return trips to Japan from the Nagano region in the north, around the mountains of Fuji to the seas of Japan, with some pieces dating back to the Meiji era (1868-1912).

To complement the boro display, the exhibition will include a small selection of objects from the Gallery’s own collection, The Art of the Japanese Package. These objects highlight the Japanese ability to create beauty from the simplest products that can be found in nature with delicate craftsmanship.

The exhibition will be on display at Ararat Gallery TAMA from 26 June 2021.

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