October 13, 2010

Afghan History

In browsing the endless abyss of facebook, I discovered a project going on in my former home Edmonton.  It sounds like a wonderful project, and the perfect piece of public art for a senior's centre.  I always wondered why these blankets were called "Afghans"... I always thought it was a somewhat politically incorrect term.

Instant Coffee wants to photograph your afghan blankets
A Public Call and Event
The artist collective Instant Coffee would like to photograph your favourite afghan blankets. The resulting photographs will be used as part of a public art commission for Edmontons New North Central Community Recreation Centre.

The afghan blanket with its erratic and saturated palette, its repetitive patterns and grid forms became a common household craft and item in North America in the sixties and seventies. The name comes from the influence of Afghani textiles, which were made from recycled or left over wools, came in vibrant colours, and incorporated holes as a basic part of their geometric pattern. As a North American tradition, the modest, domestically crafted blankets were rarely sold commercially, usually offered as personal gifts and familial hand-me-downs. Currently, they have found a secondary market and are readily available, but the domesticity and sentimentality of their making is still a vivid part of this personal, yet shared history.

Please grab these cherished items from off your beds, sofas, lazy-boys and shoulders, and bring them to Central Lions Seniors Association on Thursday, October 7th at 6 to 9pm for Instant Coffee to photograph, catalogue and enter into a competition. Only three of the afghan designs will be chosen by the collective to be part of a permanent kinetic wall mural. If an image of your distinctive blanket is selected, your name and any information you might have about it will be inscribed next to the artwork.

1 comment:

Arron K-W said...

What a great idea! Thanks for posting this :)