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Exhibition on Power Cloths of the Commonwealth
Sep '10
The XIX Commonwealth Games in India are not just about sport. RMIT Gallery is finishing preparations for its exhibition Power Cloths of the Commonwealth, Australia's only cultural representation at the Games.

The curators have shipped valuable textiles and Aboriginal fibre and textile works to India's foremost government-funded craft and textile museum, the National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum, Ministry of Textiles, New Delhi, where the exhibition will be held from 25 September to 20 October.

During the Games, events displaying Indian culture, heritage and folklore will be held across the city. The diverse cultural panorama will include folk and classical dances, classical music, theatre and films as well as other creative skills, arts and crafts.

RMIT Gallery Director Suzanne Davies said it was significant that RMIT Gallery was partnering with India's premier museum in presenting Australia's only cultural representation at the Games. Ms Davies, who sits on the board of the Australia-India Council and is its former Chair, said the exhibition was an example of cultural diplomacy in action.

Power Cloths of the Commonwealth celebrates key moments in Commonwealth history. Drawn from major museum and private collections from around the globe and covering all five continents, it presents a tight selection of key historical and contemporary works, many never before viewed publicly.

Ms Davies co-curated the exhibition with Delhi-based textile expert Professor Jasleen Dhamija. “This exhibition highlights RMIT University's commitment to a global education and its strong ties with India,” Ms Davies said.

“The Chief Minister of Delhi, The Hon. Sheila Dikshit, encouraged RMIT Gallery - on the basis of the outstanding past India collaborative show in 2006 for the Melbourne Commonwealth Games - to create an exhibition for the Cultural Program of the Delhi Games.”

Two Aboriginal artists from Melbourne are heading to New Delhi to take part in the exhibition.

Maree Clarke is the Senior Curator and Exhibitions Manager for the Koorie Heritage Trust. Her work Kangaroo Tooth Necklace, made of teeth, sinew and kangaroo leather, will be on display in New Delhi.

Vicki Couzens is a prominent artist and Keerray Wurrong/Gunditjmara woman from the Western District of Victoria. She will be exhibiting her work Koorrookee meerreeng (Grandmother's country), made of possum skins.

RMIT University

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