Saturday, May 31, 2008

Exhibition: Coptic fabrics on display in Florida, U.S.

Creative Loafing (Megan Voeller)

Unlike any other gallery or museum in the area, Ybor's Brad Cooper Gallery takes a foray into the fiber arts of the ancient world with an exhibit of Coptic textiles curated by Egyptologist Dr. Robert Bianchi. The roughly 20 woven fragments on display, which date to 400-800 A.D., offer a deep historical context for the mostly contemporary weavings on view in other local exhibitions. To be sure, the ancient Egyptians were proficient weavers of plain flax long before the cotton and wool weavings of the Coptic period were produced, but these cryptic relics -- characterized by intricate patterns, color and human and animal figures -- mark an evolutionary jump in the complexity of the craft.

The Copts, early Christians native to Egypt, were a multicultural group, steeped in classical Greek culture -- not only its mythology but the Greek practice of dyeing, spinning and weaving with wool and cotton fiber -- as well as emerging Christian iconography.

See the above page for more (it begins several paragraphs down this review of different fabric exhibitions in the area).

There's a press release in PDF format on the gallery's website.

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