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Basketry: Making Human Nature

8th Feb 2011 - 22nd May 2011

Basketry: Making Human Nature brings together traditional and contemporary basketry from Western Amazonia, North America, Oceania, Africa, Japan, South-East Asia and Europe. The exhibition reveals the extraordinary uses of basketry technology and asks us to consider its place in human culture.

Tetrahedron, 2003

Tetrahedron, 2003

Joanna Gilmour

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Kalang baskets

Kalang baskets

Lembudd, Kerayan Highlands, Indonesia

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Boiler Suit - Facade of Guys Hospital Boiler room

Boiler Suit - Facade of Guys Hospital Boiler room

Thomas Heatherwick

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Double bee skep, 1932

Double bee skep, 1932

Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service (Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse)

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Millennium Picnic Basket, 1999

Millennium Picnic Basket, 1999

Lois Walpole

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Mask

Mask

Salampasu

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Amongst the works are stunning shields from North East Congo and the Solomon Islands, fish traps from Cameroon, Ghana and Thailand, a colourful gorget from the Society Islands, Egyptian shoes, masks from the Salampasu of Angola and baskets from across the globe. The exhibition also includes large-scale basketry such as a reed boat from Lake Titicaca in Peru, a fishing weir from Papua New Guinea and a woven architectural wall panel from Guy's Hospital in London by artist Thomas Heatherwick.

Spectacular contemporary art and design by leading artists including Mary Butcher, Ueno Masao and Lois Walpole will be on display. The exhibition will also feature new commissions and works by artists responding to the gallery spaces and the themes in the exhibition, and showing how basketry is being utilised today.

You will see many weaving techniques that have been used to create designs ranging from simple geometric herringbone twill to the most complex sculptural forms. The works are made from a surprising variety of materials including traditional willow and cane, wire and recycled plastic. Other objects show the application of basketry designs for ceramics, glassware and caving.

An illustrated catalogue to accompany the exhibition is available from the Sainsbury Centre Gallery Shop.

Basketry: Making Human Nature is a Sainsbury Institute for Art project and has been developed by the Sainsbury Centre and the School of World Art Studies and Museology at the University of East Anglia. The exhibition has been curated by Professor Sandy Heslop.

Spring exhibition admission 4, concessions 2; family admission 8, concessions 6; school groups 1 per person. Free to Sainsbury Centre Friends, UEA and NUCA staff and students.

Basketry Website

Although the exhibition has closed, the basketry website continues to be updated with information and resources. You will find downloadable versions of the gallery guide, multimedia trails, films, galleries of images, resources including an essay by the curator and more. Click here to visit the Basketry website

Supported by:

Arts and Humanities Research Council

Beyond Text

In association with:

Norfolk and Norwich Festival

www.nnfestival.org.uk

British Museum