Layers of Influence exhibition focuses on identity and cultural expression at Museum of Anthropology

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The Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at UBC opened Layers of Influence: Unfolding Cloth Across Cultures yesterday. This dynamic exhibition includes over 130 textiles from Western Canada’s largest textile collection, available now through April 9, 2017. Check out a gallery of photos, below!

Curated by Jennifer Kramer (MOA Curator, Pacific Northwest), pieces are draped and hung throughout MOA’s Audain Gallery, allowing visitors a more comprehensive understanding of the intricate stitching and complex weaving techniques. Many of the pieces are visually striking, enveloping viewers through the variety of colours and patterns. It’s a fun space to walk through, and I was constantly finding new things that caught my eye. Some of my favourites are in the gallery below – check the captions for more info!

Layers of Influence investigates the function of clothing to express social prestige, economic status, political might, and spirituality – among other things. From exquisite Japanese kimonos, to colourful Indian saris, to the elaborate feather cloaks of the Maori people of Aotearoa/New Zealand, this exhibition showcases a vast array of materials and techniques used across the world.

“From birth to death, people are wrapped in cloth. We wear clothing for warmth or protection from the sun, but also as an expression of political power, social prestige, pride in identity, and spiritual protection,” notes Dr. Jennifer Kramer, MOA Curator. “This stunning exhibition is a celebration of humanity’s multifaceted and complex history with cloth, as both a creative tool and physical manifestation of a culture’s values, ideals, and overall identity. An immersive, sensory experience, the collection’s colourful abundance, exquisite embroidery, and luxurious materials will leave visitors with a deeper understanding of clothing’s role in self expression and in awe of human creativity.”

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