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Textile, Silk Banksia

This is a Textile. It is dated 2007 and we acquired it in 2009. Its medium is silk and its technique is jacquard woven. It is a part of the Textiles department.

The natural world is inspiration for British textile designer, Jennifer Robertson, whose jacquard-woven Silk Banksia displays the vibrant color and luminosity of the banksia, an Australian wildflower. According to Robertson, "the design is an exploration of the poetic language between silk, flora, and human sensorial experience with interior space and the natural environment."
Silk Banksia was designed by Robertson while studying jacquard design and weaving at the renowned Fondazione Arte della Seta Lisio in Florence, Italy, in 2005. It was subsequently woven by the Bianchi Company in 2007 in Como, Italy. The Fondazione Lisio is dedicated to the preservation of Renaissance textile processes and offers classes and residencies for making silk jacquard, damask, brocade, and velvet on ancient looms. Silk Banksia relies on the extraordinary weaving traditions and expertise of the Fondazione Lisio. Few textile workshops or studios could replicate this unusually fine weaving, which comprises over 16,000 silk warp ends in a 150-cm width, achieving a density of 110 ends per centimeter. The ability to have such extraordinary quality ultimately led Robertson to work with a photographic detail of an image of banksias. The flower displays a vibrant movement of stamens and a high contrast of light and shadow. By reducing the number of colors to only five, she creates restraint without losing detail and gains a wonderful luminosity with the vivid orange that almost seems electrified.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled Silk Banksia.

It is credited Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 299.7 x 144.8 cm (118 x 57 in.)

Cite this object as

Textile, Silk Banksia; Italy; silk; H x W: 299.7 x 144.8 cm (118 x 57 in.); Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund; 2009-7-1

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18730723/ |title=Textile, Silk Banksia |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=11 August 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>