Second Skin: Everyday and Sacred Uses of Bark Worldwide

These pages are based on RAMM's 'Second Skin' exhibition.

This exhibition demonstrated the many uses of bark and showed the amazing range of barkcloth designs produced in the last 250 years by artists both known and unknown.

RAMM has a collection of about 160 examples of barkcloth from many parts of the world. Only a small number are displayed in the World Cultures galleries at any one time. You can see more in this theme and in the objects theme.

Barkcloth combines the exotic and the familiar. The uses to which this kind of cloth have been put may be obvious – costume, matting, house decoration. The designs are vibrant and immediately attractive, yet the material itself is unfamiliar to most westerners.

We hope this theme sparks your interest in a little-known material.