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Leighton House

Nour Hage: Kheit

Nour Hage, Sukun (detail)

Event Information


28 April 2023


From 28 April to 16 July 2023


Leighton House

Included within museum admission ticket


Nour Hage: Kheit خيط  (28 April - 16 July 2023) , on display in the historic Drawing Room at Leighton House, is an exhibition and event series in collaboration with The Arab British Centre. Meaning ‘thread’ in Arabic, Kheit presents three artworks created in response to the tiles in the Arab Hall and staircase hall. An award-wining textile artist, Nour has also researched the museum’s collection of antique textiles, featuring Syrian clothing, Ottoman hangings and runners, and Iranian carpets. During Leighton’s lifetime textiles, in particular from the Middle East and North Africa, were a prominent decorative feature in his house,  and over the last two years the museum has acquired and displayed significant pieces to recreate the original  interiors.

Kheit is a celebration of the skill and the artistry of textiles. Leighton himself loved and appreciated textiles, which he collected and displayed throughout his home. 

The artworks

Drawing inspiration from the mosaic frieze designed by Walter Crane (1845-1915) for the Arab Hall, Nour has created Her Rays and Sukun, representing the sun and the moon through colour and texture. In Her Rays, golden brown silk and cotton braids hang down suggesting the sun’s rays. In contrast in Sukun, the moon’s cool serenity and calm is reflected in pale grey and purple tones. This piece was woven on a circular loom in a technique crafted by the artist and is surrounded by braids. In West Asian culture, braids are believed to lock in the evil eye and bad energy. 


The colours of the pieces were informed by some verses found in a calligraphic tile panel on the staircase at Leighton House, attributed to Sheikh Muhammad Jamal ud-Din al-Makki al Amili, a fourteenth century poet from Jezzine, the artist’s hometown in Lebanon. Nour dyed the fabrics using sumac berries gathered from Jezzine, to obtain the darker brown hues for Her Rays. She then further soaked the fabrics in an iron bath, made from rusty nails found in the artist’s new home in Dubai, to achieve the cool greyish purple tones for Sukun.


Also on display is Our Garden, co-produced with eight local residents, invited to participate in a series of workshops to create embroidered symbols which had a personal significance for them. Stitched together, the resulting piece is presented as a talismanic object, imbued with each participant’s intentions.


Our Garden reminisces of a Palestinian tradition where women from one family or community embroider and stitch together a wedding trousseau which the bride keeps her entire life, carrying memories and her matrilineal lineage with her. The technique used for Our Garden mirrors traditional Turkish towels, typically embroidered by women using silk thread, gold wire or flat gold strips to create different textures. An example of a Turkish towel from the museum’s collection is on display in the exhibition room.


Kheit has been funded by the Barakat Trust’s Hands on Islamic Art grant, made possible by the National Heritage Lottery Fund.


Meet Nour Hage

Nour Hage


Nour Hage is an award-winning British-Lebanese artist and designer, working across textile and digital. Her practice is centered on the exploration of West Asian identities, culture, history and storytelling with a particular focus on the role of women, the supernatural and mental wellbeing. Nour was the inaugural Jameel Fellow at the V&A Museum in 2021-22 and was awarded the Boghossian Foundation Prize in 2014. She graduated from Parsons School of Design (Paris) with a BFA in Fashion Design.



Plan your visit

On display in Leighton's Drawing Room

From 28 April to 16 July 2023

10am to 5:30pm - last entry at 4:30pm

Included within museum admission ticket


Plan your visit


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