When preparing for my solo exhibition in 2012, I was interested in the possibility of creating pieces inspired by my large-scale painting, which could exist in a smaller, more intimate form. There were two key touchstones for this exhibition; still lives of ancient artefacts and the remarkable designs of Islamic embroidery, a tradition inherently tactile and nomadic. I saw an opportunity to translate the beauty of ancient museum pieces — usually seen only behind glass — into a textile to be worn and handled. As limited-edition silk scarves, made to the highest standards of quality, I hope that they will constitute things of longevity, made to last and be handed on, becoming vessels for memory and items of meaning in their own right.
The Middle Eastern Collection, designed in the Middle East about the Middle East, is a series based on Islamic museum pieces from the 12th century, incorporating Middle Eastern embroidery patterns and printed in France and Italy. This 90×90 collection printed on silk twill with a hand rolled border, is a striking illustration of bold prints in trend and a homage to the process of translating past and present visual language of the region’s heritage.
These scarves are derived from Toledo’s 2017 solo exhibition, The Portuguese Collection. They are a reflection of the artist’s exploration of her second home, Lisbon, where religious and public buildings don elaborate tile work and interiors are decorated with 17th century Pombal tiles.