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Mood Indigo: Textiles from Around the World

“Dreamy blues/mood indigo.” ~Duke Ellington, 1931

Breathe deeply as you enter the first gallery of “Mood Indigo, Textiles from Around the World,” then look carefully at the dried plants hanging on the walls. Now, enter a high enclosure of fabric dyed in many shades of blue and experience a constantly changing soundscape that evokes the sounds of color and the color of sound. The collaborative contemporary installation Mobile Section, 2015, by textile artist Rowland Ricketts and sound artist Norbert Herber provides a perfect introduction to this highly original exhibition. It gives us the material qualities of the immaterial, color, created only by the refraction of light.

The first exhibition of textiles at the Seattle Art Museum since 1980, “Mood Indigo” features almost 100 different textiles and garments, many of them never before exhibited. While Pamela McClusky, Seattle Art Museum’s wonderful curator of Art of Africa and Oceania took the lead in the theme of the exhibition, she collaborated with the curators of Native American Art, Chinese Art, and Japanese Art, as well as, importantly, Nicholas Dorman, Conservator, and Paul Martinez, Installer, who solved the incredible challenges of installing flat textiles in a dynamic way.

Together they excavated the collections with an eye for indigo blue, a radical project. Indigo does no