Weaving exhibition crosses faiths and continents

RugAn unusual international exhibition of rugs and tapestries goes on the road next month after being launched last week at Bradford Civic Hall.

‘A carpet of wisdom’, has been produced out of a project called  Weaving Women’s Wisdom, an interfaith project started in Bradford by the Methodist organisation, Touchstone. It has used the creative activity of weaving and tapestry to form and deepen friendships between women of different faiths and backgrounds both in Britain and Pakistan. 

Twenty  groups in Britain and Pakistan have been involved in Weaving Women’s Wisdom, from interfaith forums, to schools, Girls Brigade groups and even a book group.  Each was asked to discuss wise women who have influenced their lives and faith, and were provided with a starter pack of materials and the invitation to make a rug.Touchstone (Right-- Touchstone in Bradford, one of just 20 groups who have produced the exhibition).

The Rev’d Jenny Ramsden, Anglican Curate of East Morton and Riddlesden and the faiths worker for Touchstone, who oversaw the project, said “It has been fascinating to watch the rugs take shape, and to see the variety of ways that each group has represented their discussions on 'women's wisdom'.”

From May 6th – 13th, the exhibition will take place at St Margaret’s Church,  Thornbury, Bradford BD3 before going on to be shown in mosques, churches, cathedrals, schools and possibly even the Houses of Parliament.

Fr Nicholas Clews, Parish Priest, said, “It is a great privilege for us to host this exhibition.  Thornbury is home to people of many faiths and cultures and it is good to celebrate that diversity.”

The rugs have used many traditional techniques from the UK and Pakistan, including ‘rag rugging’ and ‘locker hooking’ as well as some inventive designs.  

Jenny added, “The results are stunning and have given great opportunities to women who are often sidelined in more formal interfaith dialogue. In the light of current rises in religious tensions across the world - the Weaving Women’s Wisdom project is a tangible demonstration that women of all faith can work creatively together for peace. And produce something beautiful!”

The exhibition will be at St Margaret’s Church, The Thornbury Centre in BD3.  The Centre is open from 8 am till 5 pm but anyone visiting especially to see the exhibition is advised to phone on 01274 666649 as there will be times when the church is closed for services or meetings.

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