Rethreading & Retracing

Textiles and Techniques by Bita Ghezelayagh

27 February – 6 December 2020

Aga Khan Centre Gallery presents an exhibition by internationally renowned textile artist Bita Ghezelayagh. This exhibition gives us a glimpse into her practice which is influenced by her Iranian cultural heritage. Bita Ghezelayagh transforms old woven textiles and eastern carpets into new pictorial objects and works of art. She uses traditional embroidery techniques along with found materials to transform disused textiles, giving them a renewed sense of life and an altogether, different purpose. This exhibition includes a series of new works created recently that have not been shown before. Carpet squares rethreaded in part with coloured wool are adorned with shimmering mirror borders to give a jewel like aesthetic. While her new Offcut series reveal deconstructed forms that resemble templates for body armour that may have once been used. This exhibition connects us to Bita’s cultural history of textile traditions in Iran as well as her fascination and love for beautiful old materials and techniques.

Bita Ghezelayagh was born in Florence, Italy but is of Iranian descent. She studied architecture at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris La Villette, where she received an MA. She worked for the Association of Iranian Calligraphers in Tehran and was art director of three notable Iranian films, including The Pear Tree by Dariush Mehrjui.

Bita’s work has been the subject of many solo and group exhibitions in the UK and internationally. She has also shown in major art fairs and festivals across the world. Her work is within both public and private collections including the British Museum, the Farjam Foundation, Devi Art Foundation, Jameel Foundation and most recently within the Islamic Middle East Collection at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Bita Ghezelayagh lives and works in London.

This exhibition is supported by Aga Khan Foundation (UK).

Virtual tour of the exhibition