Out of the Black Lacquer Box

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Out of the Black Lacquer Box

Ikats from Indonesia and the Philippines

Image courtesy of Judith Snodgrass.

Judith Snodgrass recently retired from teaching Japanese History at Western Sydney University. Bringing home 25 years of accumulated books and papers precipitated a major rearrangement of things including the opening of a black lacquer box of textiles, probably last aired in the 1970s when she taught weaving for the Handspinners and Weavers Guild in Harrington Street, the Rocks. She and her husband, Adrian had collected the textiles while surveying regional handcrafts and small industries to support the design and outfitting of the newly emerging Asian themed international hotels of the 70s; and while making documentaries in the remoter parts of the region with New Zealand film maker, Brian Brake. (Lake Toba, Tana Toradja, the Dayak areas of Kalimantan and the islands of Nusa Tengarra were really remote then.) Of particular interest are the T’Boli T’nalak, the abaca fibre warp ikats of Mindanao which, in their design and ritual functions, demonstrate the cultural affinity among indigenous peoples across the political division of Indonesia and the Philippines. The warp ikats from these diverse regions will illustrate the point and insert the T’Boli T’nalak into the richly documented literature of the tradition.

Associate Professor Judith Snodgrass began studying weaving in Japan in the late 1960s, under the guidance of Utsuki Shozo, a prominent weaver in Nishijin and member of the Kyoto Mingei society. After returning to Australia in the mid 1970s, she taught weaving in Harrington Street and at the University of Sydney’s Tin Sheds. Her passion for textiles (and for Buddhist art) has flowed unabated behind her academic career. She and Adrian were founding members of TAASA in 1991.

Light refreshments will be served.

How to Pay: Cash at the door.


Walking Directions

From Circular Quay
Walk to George Street , The Rocks. Turn left into Argyle Street and walk under the famous Argyle Cut to climb the stairs opposite the Garrison Church. Turn left at the top of the stairs and follow Watson Road past the Sydney Observatory to the National Trust Centre.

From Kent Street
Follow the historic Agar Steps (opposite the Observatory Hotel) up to the National Trust Centre.

From Wynyard and the city
At No. 1 York Street walk through the expressway underpass. Follow the tunnel, keeping to the right, until you come up on Kent Street . Walk along Kent Street to the Agar Steps, or follow the approach to the Bridge, which will take you past the National Trust Centre on your left.

Driving directions (free parking is available on-site)

Drive down Kent Street , right into Argyle Street , right again into Watson Road and follow it around past the Sydney Observatory to the National Trust Centre. Free Parking is available on site.

Public Transport directions

Bus: Routes 311, 324, and 325 terminate at Argyle Street . Walk up Watson Road, Observatory Hill and follow the signs.

Train: to Wynyard or Circular Quay

Ferry: to Circular Quay and proceed as above.



9 May, 2017
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm AEST
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SH Ervin Gallery
Watson Road
Millers Point, NSW Australia
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