Public Reception and Opening Friday, February 10th, 6-9pm for: Thread of Life, Splendid Treasures of the Turkomen Tribes of Central Asia: Turkomen Jewelry from the Stephen Wilberding Collection at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, and New Gifts from the Archives of Judy Chicago. All three exhibition are part of FSU’s Seven Days of Opening Nights Festival.
Before the tumultuous years of the sixties and seventies in America, textiles and fibers had traditionally been seen as domestic arts. But what were formerly domestic skills have become a medium for highly charged subject matter, which has evolved in numerous directions. Narrative imagery created another layer of richness and political commentary. Contemporary narrative in “Thread of Life” is broad ranging: from Judy Chicago’s Birth Project tapestries, to jaccard-loom portraits of sweatshop workers, to flooded river deltas and ecological commentaries.
The Turkomen tribes of Central Asia live in a harsh and arid physical environment, migrating with the seasons, yet the beauty of their ornamentation reflects their rich spiritual beliefs and customs. A nomadic lifestyle meant that wealth had to be easily portable, so richly decorated jewelry crafted from precious metals and semi-precious stones met their social, spiritual and economic needs. The objects featured in “Splendid Treasures of the Turkomen Tribes of Central Asia” reflect the heritage of the Central Asian tribes in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.