This exhibition brings the captivating art and textiles of Peru to the UK, showcasing some of the world’s oldest and most colourful designs.
For decades, designers worldwide have been influenced by the traditional textiles of Peru. The exhibition explores the processes and practices of both historic and contemporary Peruvian costume via garments, textiles, photographs, tools, illustrations and paintings, dating from pre-Hispanic to the present day.
Highlights include a 16th-century Quipu – knotted fibres used by the Incas as a form of communication – and a four-cornered hat, dating from 600 AD. A rare pre-Hispanic tunic created in orange, yellow and blue macaw feathers is displayed alongside a sequined waistcoat emblazoned with birds and flowers and a Shipibo costume from the Amazon Rainforest, embroidered to reflect the astrological map. The contemporary works include pieces by Peruvian fashion designers Meche Correa and Chiara Macchievello, and Peruvian-inspired designs from Vivienne Westwood and Naeem Khan.
Also on display are photographs by Sebastian Castaneda Vita, Marta Tucci and Toni Frissell, and postcards by influential photographer Martin Chambi. Chambi was one of the earliest known indigenous Latin American photographers, whose black and white postcards, featuring images of the indigenous people of Cuzco and their costumes, helped to disseminate knowledge of Peru in the 20th Century.