Heavy is the topic that wears the craft

In my practice I reclaim the ancestral arts and techniques from a modern position. Pieces made by women that are generally associated with the domestic environment. Why is textiles often seen as a hobby, while woodwork is seen as professional practice? So, it’s not crafts in general that are undervalued but specifically crafts made by women. There have been movements before that brought the crafts to light, like the Arts and Crafts movement and the Bauhaus, but they all failed to acknowledge crafts made by women within their settings. Nor for that matter, Portuguese craft.

 

I wanna give it the value that it deserves. I wanna give the craftswomen and generations of people that make a living from these trades the recognition they deserve. I had plenty of male artisans in my life, but not enough female ones. My work takes a feminist perspective on cultural craft traditions and women’s roles in the art world.

 

Yes to hand-made and yes to history-crafted art.

Frame in 01.jpg

Clapham 01 with tapestry frame 2020
Photograph, latch hook rug
100x85 cm (IMAGE)

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Clapham 02 with tapestry frame 2020
Photograph, latch hook rug
100x85 cm (IMAGE)

Throughout my practice I use symbols that represent the relationship between women and craft, creating a history of meanings within the tapestry. I weave together traditionally feminine elements like the flowers and curved lines, while exploring and respecting the historic similarities with the Arabic designs of the cornucopias; the elements and colours of the Portuguese tiles; and keeping the layout of the traditional “Arraiolos”.

 

The grandmothers of our time are the ones who hold and store these histories and works of art in their small living rooms. By making the craft into a frame I'm using it as a method of communication, I'm using it to bring attention to what's inside, thus, valuing both the frame, and its contents, in the process.. By re-evaluating the position of craft and where it stands, I'm bringing to light important topics that connect with the devaluation of women in society more broadly. Topics like violence against women.


The subject matter I selected to be the “King”, in this case, was the murder of Sarah Everard and the painful and necessary discourse it raised around violence against women and sexual harassment. These images were taken in the aftermath of the vigil in Clapham Common. They show a strong and quiet scene that tells the story of this woman, and many women. Intense yet very respectful during the day, this sits at odds with the violent reaction of the police to vigil attendees later that evening. I wanted to give the scene the feeling of the still life painting that delivers a punch of meaning behind it.

Material Gradient - The fruit, 2020
Digital work, Oil on canvas
120x90 cm

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Clapham 03 with tapestry frame 2020
Photograph, latch hook rug
100x85 cm (IMAGE)

Clapham 04 with tapestry frame 2020
Photograph, latch hook rug
100x85 cm (IMAGE)