Sometimes treasures are hidden from view, sometimes from memory, too, due to the passing of time; sometimes these treasures have been hidden away in chests or at the back of deep cupboards.
Sometimes, when discovered, these treasures are shared with the wider community.
Such is the case with a collection of textiles about to be exhibited at the Yamba Museum.
Yamba women Helen Tyas Tunggal and Kerri Holland have decided to share some of the “extraordinarily beautiful fabrics collected from far and wide over many decades”, says Ms Tyas Tunggal.
“We were just talking about these wonderful fabrics we had collected; they’re works of art, handmade by women who haven’t really reaped the benefits of their labours while producing significant and culturally important textiles.
“There are centuries of background in the designs, fabrics and materials; a lot of them are cotton, silk and wool.
“You can’t cut them. We could make something out of them, but we can’t bring ourselves to do that – this is a way of sharing with the community.
“Looking at some of them, you can’t help but go, ‘Wow!’.
“The intricacy of the weaving from places like Thailand, Sumatra, Vietnam,Bhutan, Bolivia and Nepal is incredible – then there are the hand woven and embroidered silks from India and silk batik from Java.”
Ms Tyas Tunggal says the exhibition honours textile traditions from different cultures and expresses the evolution and diversity of global textiles.
“It explores the journey of making the fabric, the journey of the fabric from its source to Yamba and the journey of the audience through the exhibition,” she says.
“The sacrifices and poverty of the many women who have produced these beautiful fabrics is also recognised.”
Ms Tyas Tunggal’s daughter, acclaimed choreographer and dancer, Jade Dewi Tyas Tunggal, will perform Materiality of Impermanence – an “intimate series of poetic dances translating dynamic pattern, pigment and fibre stories [that are] remembered in the tactile qualities of the distinct materials displayed”–, which has been specifically choreographed for this exhibition.
Entry to the exhibition is by paper note donation and will include ‘lucky door prizes’ of handmade fabric. All funds raised will go towards women’s healing work and wellbeing projects.
A quarter of funds raised will go to each of the Nepal Project (a women’s collective in the remote village of Thapathali, village district of Nepaledanda, region of Bhojpur, Eastern Nepal) and the Bali Project (Bukit Women Weavers collective in Sawangan Village in south-eastern Bali); the other half will go to the Yamba Project (Clarence Valley Women Incorporated wellbeing project for disadvantaged women to be held in Yamba early next year.)
Visitors are invited to touch as well as see the fabrics, many of which will be hung from bamboo poles.
The official opening takes place at 6pm on Friday August 26 – Jade will perform Materiality of Impermanence on that night at approximately 6.30pm and 7.30pm.
Further performances take place at 2.30pm and 3.30pm on Saturday August 27 and Sunday August 28.
The exhibition continues for the rest of the week.
For information about Jade Dewi Tyas Tunggal, go to: