Conversation


2018 - 20




 “The trees began quietly talking in their own language. It was not the first time they discussed such serious matters. They took their time. Day and night, slowly, the conversation extended over land as far as the eye could see…”





I started Conversation in the Summer of 2018, in Lisbon, after returning from a semester of studies abroad, in Ahmedabad, India.

During that period, I was studying textile design and travelling as much as I could. I was privileged to see incredibly beautiful and skilfully made textiles, such as those in a Vishwakarma exhibition in Delhi, or at the Calico Museum of Textiles in Ahmedabad. I visited craftsmen villages, in Kutch district, where many people weave, embroider and dye with traditional techniques. Tapestries and quilts impressed me with their detailing, color and figurative elements, often telling stories of folklore and religion and holding the subtle marks of the makers’ hands. Similarly, I was struck by the painstaking detail of painted Indian miniatures which I saw at the Mehrangarh fort in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. And furthermore, the traditional clothes which people wore on the streets, turned crowds into loud riots of colour.












I saw the motif of the tree being represented repeatedly, whether it appeared as a majestic Tree of Life in large tapestries and block printed lengths, or as a delicate detail in depictions of gardens in miniature paintings of royal palaces.

I took reference from those trees, which are, in the traditional Indian manner, very carefully drawn, their leaves symmetrical and organized, like a representation of flawless nature.














                                                                                                     



The process of making this embroidered piece took me two years, with many breaks in between.

It is stiched over cut-out paper as a way of seeking some form of perfection and evenness in this improvised technique. I found it deeply satisfying to place the paper on the fabric and slowly moving the needle up and down, each new thread sitting close to the previous one, until the shape was fully covered.

Through the long, quiet hours of embroidery, I often listened to music in a sort of blissful state where I could relax and let the needle work. Other times, it was a seemingly unfruitful process, which went on and on, for days without end.

When I look at the finished piece, I see that the motifs remain spontaneous and simple, despite the arduous process. The work comes from a place of intense focus and I like to think the changing thoughts and feelings that accompanied me during the two years of its making are embedded in each stich.