A Modern Artist’s Response
There are a number of tie-dyed tabby weave pieces in the Museum’s collection. This was a surprise to me as I was not aware of this type of work in Pre-Columbian cultures. Tie-dye (known throughout India) or Shibori (as it is known in Japan) is a well-known technique from this early time period in a number of areas. It makes me wonder how did the ancient Peruvians learn about tie-dye techniques? Is this process a universal truth based on a common language of technical possibilities available to these materials, or was there diffusion of the technique? Whatever the answer, this technique is popular among many textile artists today. Internationally known artists such as Yoshiko Wada, Ana Lisa Hedstrom and local artist Sharon Kilfoyle have utilized this ancient technique to speak to current fashion trends as well as to connect to the long history of textile traditions. I have tried to replicate the tie-dye design seen here with cheesecloth (for some of the pieces in my show) to no avail. I am stymied as to how ancient Peruvian textile designers achieved this design.
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"I still remember the feeling of awe and disbelief when I was alone and walked in the room with those casts." --Ruth Tofle, chair of architecture, winner of the 2013 distinguished faculty award from the MU Alumni Association