Egyptian tapestry joins RAMM’s collection
16 February 2010
RAMM has added a contemporary hand-woven Egyptian tapestry to its world cultures collection. The large, colourful tapestry depicting rural Egyptian life will be included in the World cultures displays when the museum reopens in 2011.
Created by Mahrous Abdou at the prestigious Ramses Wissa-Wassef Centre in Cairo, the stunning tapestry, which measures 2.9 by 1.8 metres, will delight visitors with its rich detail of everyday activities. Complementing RAMM’s collection of fabrics and textiles from the Middle East, North Africa and the wider world, it will also add to this wonderful resource for students, artists and craftsmen.
The product of nine months dedicated labour the tapestry, Fields and Village on the Nile, lovingly depicts a rural way of life that is fast disappearing, lost to modernisation and the encroaching cities. The microcosm of agrarian life includes details of daily work and domestic chores, leisure activities, domestic animals and wildlife, dress and architecture.
The tapestry can be enjoyed at many levels; for its stunning colours, for its picture of contemporary Egyptian life or for its craftsmanship and artistry. It is a tapestry that can be viewed time and time again, with each viewing revealing further detail and arousing further curiosity.
The Ramses Wissa-Wassef Centre was founded in 1952. It helps village children develop their skill and creativity using high warp looms. With only three rules; no copying, no preliminary designs and no adult criticism, the innate artistic aptitude of children has flourished and many have become highly skilled craftsmen. Their originality and craftsmanship has developed an international reputation and their tapestries can be seen at galleries worldwide.
The tapestry was purchased with assistance from Dr Jenny Balfour-Paul, The Art Fund, the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, and the Friends of Exeter Museums and Art Gallery.