Japanese textile genius Akihiko Izukura weaves ancient sustainable silks at Bonington Gallery

By Kathryn Evans | 21 April 2010
A photo of red textiles tumbling down against a black backdrop

Exhibition: Life in Colours, Bonington Gallery, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, April 22 – May 14 2010

Renowned Japanese textile artist Akihiko Izukura will be displaying his nature inspired practice of natural dyeing and zero waste, in this debut UK exhibition.

Showcasing an array of textiles and clothing made using ancient processes from more than 2,000 years ago, Izukura – a descendant of a long line of master silk weavers who spent centuries creating kimonos and obis for the imperial family in Japan – is driven by a desire to share his "compassion for life" with the Western world, advocating harmony with nature.

A photo of textile shapes and weaves inside a light gallery

Izukura champions a balance with nature

"People have begun to appreciate artificial beauty over natural beauty for many years, due to mechanisation and industrial development; too much importance is placed on artificial systems," he says.

"With the advent of non-stop trends in the modern world, immense quantities of clothing are discarded as trash. We have to pursue different ways to become a more sustainable planet."

During the exhibition Izukura will be running a series of workshops for students, inviting them to reel silk yarn from cocoons and dye materials with liquids taken from herbs and insects.

A photo of purple silk fabrics draping down under a light

A series of workshops will accompany the exhibition

Izukura utilizes the natural power of the sun and water to save energy during the process. In the dawn of climate change, he hopes that his work will pave the way for a more optimistic future.

"When I first saw Izukura's work in Japan I knew the impact it would have on a UK audience and was really keen to be able to show it here," reflects Julie Pinches, Head of Fashion and Knitwear at the University's School of Art and Design.

"The intensity of colour and fusion of craft techniques and processes will amaze the viewer, but what really strikes is the message that contemporary fashion and textile design can be fully sustainable and an inspiration to the next generation of designers."

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