July 2, 2019 - July 30, 2019
In July, the Blue Hill Public Library will host an exhibit, Living Paintbrushes: Women’s Embroideries from Bangladesh, from the collection of Blue Hill resident Malcolm Purvis. The public is invited to a reception on Friday, July 12th from 4:30 to 6:00 PM, followed by a talk by Malcom Purvis and a screening of the 35-minute documentary, Threads, that tells the story of Surayia Rahman, a Bangladeshi artist that helped revitalize the tradition of these beautiful tapestries. There will also be an advance matinee showing, along with the talk by Malcolm on Saturday, July 6, at 1:00 PM.
Malcolm Purvis worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development in Bangladesh from 1988 to 1992, during which time his wife, Ses Purvis, took great interest in Surayia Rahman and other Bangladeshi artists who were struggling to market their embroideries. She helped them in numerous ways, but especially by marketing their works which are now in collections all over the world. The exhibit is dedicated to the memory of Ses Purvis.
Surayia Rahman, a self-taught Bangladeshi painter who exhibited abroad, turned her talent to designing embroidery and quilting pieces and over time, employing hundreds poor and destitute women to use their needlework skills to support themselves and their families. She raised the traditional kanthas (quilts) to a sophisticated level, helping to make these pieces much sought-after on the international market.
The textile show will be in the library’s Britton Gallery and Roland Howard Room, available for viewing beginning July 2nd. For more information contact the library at 374-5515.