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Threading the Commonwealth: Textile Tradition, Culture, Trade and Politics

Threading the Commonwealth: Textile Tradition, Culture, Trade and PoliticsThis exhibition comprises a survey of textiles from the majority of nations that make up the Commonwealth. Consisting of key historical and contemporary works, the collection demonstrates how various traditional and visual languages have transformed over time. It also provides an opportunity for the differences and similarities between the constituent nations of the Commonwealth to be explored while examining a range of issues.

The exhibition will tell two grand stories common across these diverse cultures while celebrating the course of human histories and experiences. Firstly, the ceremonially significant textiles in displays of power - the Power Cloths - worn by key figures in the nations of the Commonwealth, ranging from a state gown belonging to Queen Victoria to Melbourne Lord Mayor John So's Aboriginal possum cloak. The second story concerns garments and textiles used in Rites of Passage - from birth, circumcision, marriage to death and all that comes between. RMIT’s Storey Hall facade will be transformed by cloths woven from gold and silver thread.

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Date: 1 March30 April
Time: During the Games 11:00am – 7:00pm (Monday - Friday), 12:00noon – 5:00pm (Saturday - Sunday). Outside the Games 11:00am – 5:00pm (Monday - Friday), 2:00pm – 5:00pm (Saturday - Sunday)
Location: RMIT Gallery, 344 Swanston Street, CBD

Image: Outfit (dress 'pashk' and trousers 'shalwar'), women's, silk/cotton Brahvi people, Baluchistan, 1900-1925 Collection Powerhouse Museum, Sydney. Reproduced courtesy of the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney
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