Women of the Mediterranean Sea, 1997

Exhibition organized by UNESCO, Thessaloniki-Cultural Capital of Europe

Through the long centuries during which women have been forced into an endless social and creative silence, reading and embroidery have been two of the few acceptable pastimes for them. Patiently following the repeated patterns of embroidery and the repeated signs in the books, they had been narrating their own silent story to themselves and forgetting its reality at the same time. They were reminiscing but not remembering their own creative powers and just had to settle for a semblance of an identity instead of the truth about themselves. I have attempted here a reappropriation of embroidery as a silent, hand-crafted text. The golden parts of this work were made of gold thread. The bodies of the women have been embroidered, as well as the books they read. Embroidery here is not meant to be merely decorative; it is about trusting and choosing patterns and signs outside oneself, making them a part of a personal practice and expression.