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DateLecture
27 March 2019Timurid Carpet Revival and Persian Miniatures - A Carpet ride to Khiva exploring the revival of 15th century Timurid carpet designs from Persian illuminated manuscripts
24 April 2019The Story of The Crystal Palace & The Great Exhibition
29 May 2019Master Masons
26 June 2019In Search of Leokadiya Kashperova: Musical adventures in Russia
25 September 2019Stripped Naked: The Nude in Art History
30 October 2019Oscar : A Life - The Rise & Fall of Oscar Wilde
27 November 2019Beautiful Monsters: Heroic & Grotesque Armour of the Italian Renaissance
29 January 2020A Tour of Big Ben

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Timurid Carpet Revival and Persian Miniatures - A Carpet ride to Khiva exploring the revival of 15th century Timurid carpet designs from Persian illuminated manuscripts Chris Aslan Alexander Wednesday 27 March 2019

A CARPET RIDE TO KHIVA - EXPLORING THE REVIVAL OF 15TH CENTURY TIMURID CARPET DESIGNS FROM PERSIAN ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS

This is a narrative approach to the revival of 15th Century carpet designs from illuminated manuscripts in Khiva, a desert oasis in Uzbekistan.  Illuminations on vellum, containing the only surviving representations of textiles from this era, flourished despite the Islamic prohibition on representative art.  The lecture will examine the traditional role of carpet weaving and embroidery in the social lives of CEntral Asian women and how social and political influences led to the decline of textile production.  How do the constraints of gender-inequality, corruption and the sourcing of natural dyes from neighbouring Afghanistan continue to challenge attempts at reviving the rich textile heritage of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand?

Christopher Aslan Alexander was born in Turkey and grew up in war-torn Beirut. After university he moved to Central Asia. While writing a guidebook about Khiva, he fell in love with this desert oasis boasting the most homogenous example of Islamic architecture in the world, and stayed.

He is currently back in Central Asia. He has moved from the High Pamirs of Eastern Tajikistan where he worked with yaks, training their herders to comb the cashmere-soft down which will then be processed and hand-spun into luxury fair-trade knitwear. For more details visit: www.yakyakstory.com

Chris now has his sights set on starting a sustainable wood-carving workshop in the village of Arslanbob, Kyrgyzstan; a place with his name on it. Arslanbob is nestled between soaring mountains and the world’s largest natural walnut forest. Alexander the Great’s army is reputed to have made it this far East, bringing Arslanbob’s walnuts back with them and introducing the walnut to Europe.