From Ashgabat to Istanbul

by Jaina Mishra

The exhibition ‘From Ashgabat to Istanbul’ at the Textile Museum of Canada is a great reason to visit Toronto before April 19, 2015.

The 70+ works of rug art on display come from over several private collections and institutions from all over Canada. Given that this might be the only opportunity to see the best of Canadian rug collections in a single space, it is a ‘must see’ exhibition.

Displayed according to the geographical origin, the visual impact is enhanced by the notes from interviews with the collectors themselves in which they speak about some special aspect of the rug. The experience is further heightenced by the fantastic cultural photographs (displayed as prints and as video displays) that transport the visitor into the paradigm in which these rugs were created.

Textile Museum of Canada - Ashgabat to Istanbul - Oriental Rugs from Canadian Collections.

Textile Museum of Canada - Ashgabat to Istanbul - Oriental Rugs from Canadian Collections.

Textile Museum of Canada - Ashgabat to Istanbul - Oriental Rugs from Canadian Collections.

Textile Museum of Canada - Ashgabat to Istanbul - Oriental Rugs from Canadian Collections.

There are too many rugs in the show that are hard to move away from, even though the next one that can be seen from the corner of the eye is as attractive! The Kirghiz reed screen, the beaded Baluchi Camel Headdress, the flatwoven Azeri bags are all unusual and intriguing while the stunning Anatolian, Kurdish & Turkmen rugs are candy for the eye and soul.

Textile Museum of Canada - Ashgabat to Istanbul - Oriental Rugs from Canadian Collections.

Textile Museum of Canada - Ashgabat to Istanbul - Oriental Rugs from Canadian Collections.

Textile Museum of Canada - Ashgabat to Istanbul - Oriental Rugs from Canadian Collections.

Textile Museum of Canada - Ashgabat to Istanbul - Oriental Rugs from Canadian Collections.

Textile Museum of Canada - Ashgabat to Istanbul - Oriental Rugs from Canadian Collections.

Textile Museum of Canada - Ashgabat to Istanbul - Oriental Rugs from Canadian Collections.

I visited the TMC on the first day of my 3-day visit to Toronto but there is a longing to go see these pieces one more time before they disperse and go back to their respective homes all over Canada.

Textile Museum of Canada - Ashgabat to Istanbul - Oriental Rugs from Canadian Collections.

Textile Museum of Canada - Ashgabat to Istanbul - Oriental Rugs from Canadian Collections.

Textile Museum of Canada - Ashgabat to Istanbul - Oriental Rugs from Canadian Collections.

Textile Museum of Canada - Ashgabat to Istanbul - Oriental Rugs from Canadian Collections.

Textile Museum of Canada - Ashgabat to Istanbul - Oriental Rugs from Canadian Collections.

The exhibition is on until April 19th, 2015 and more information can be found on the website linked here: www.textilemuseum.ca

Images and text:  Jaina Mishra, wovensouls.com