THE UNIVERSE CANTICLE
Tapestries by the Women of Kopanang
Sponsored by the Mariposa Museum and World Culture Center
Center for Spiritual Life
New York University
238 Thompson Street
New York City
Opening Reception: Monday, Dec. 1 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Exhibit Hours: Tuesday, Dec. 2 to Friday, Dec. 19, 2014, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“The Universe Canticle” is a series of startling and vivid tapestries that depict the origin of the cosmos, the Earth, humankind and animals, interpreted and embroidered by the Women of Kopanang, a community of women either infected with—or affected by—HIV/AIDS, near Johannesburg, South Africa. While the exhibit has toured four continents, this will be its first showing in New York City. A press preview/reception will be held December 1 from 6–8 p.m.
A Dominican nun, Sister Sheila Flynn has helped members of the Kopanang Community Trust learn to embroider, stitch and bead, thus developing their skills, confidence and empowerment, as well as income. The subject of their master work offers a unique perspective on the evolution of the world, inspired by an unusual blend of contemporary and traditional sources: the writing of Thomas Berry, the American cultural historian and cosmologist; Brian Swimme, professor (California Institute of Integral Studies) of evolutionary cosmology; African folklore and the Bible.
“This folk art is fresh, exciting and provocative,” said Joyce Healy, Board Chair of the Mariposa Museum, and driving force behind the exhibit. “Kopanang welcomes women who have been cast out of their communities due to sickness and helps them develop the skills to create marketable crafts. What a worthwhile cause!”
The Universe Canticle Exhibit is open from 11a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and is free to the public. The Mariposa Museum can accept online, tax-deductible donations to the Kopanang Community Trust Project (www.MariposaMuseum.org/Kopanang).