Monday, 11 December 2023

Event Details

Peruvian arpilleras on display at the Verbal Arts Centre, 2009. (Photo: Colin Peck)

Peruvian arpilleras on display at the Verbal Arts Centre, 2009. (Photo: Colin Peck)


Exhibition:Peruvian Arpilleras that tell a story, cry out, challenge and question
Description: These arpilleras were created in workshops in Lima in the 1980s by Mujeres Creativas, displaced women from the Andean region of Peru, caught in the crossfire between Shining Path (an insurgent group in rural areas) and State Forces during the war in Peru. Impoverishment, political violence and the need to build new homes in the suburbs of Lima became the main themes depicted in these arpilleras which they started sewing as a cooperative venture and as a source of income. Scraps of material from women's everyday lives are sewn into these arpilleras.

An old Irish Paisley pattern quilt found in the loft of Roberta's home was used as a backing. True to its original purpose as a bed cover in cold weather, it has retained this practical purpose being now used to wrap arpilleras.

This exhibition was part of a continuous series of arpillera and quilt exhibitions hosted by the Verbal Arts Centre in Derry and curated by Roberta Bacic, from 2008 to 2013. Each exhibition, comprised of a piece or pieces created by community groups from different parts of the island, other countries, or individual women, was displayed for a number of weeks before being replaced with a new exhibition.

This particular exhibition coincided and was integrated with the “Women’s Real Lives” exhibition, organised to celebrate International Women's Day 2009, the culmination of a series of events and workshops resulting from the 'Quilt Trail' and 'Art of Survival' exhibitions in Derry in March 2008. It took place at four venues in the city of Derry, the Verbal Arts Centre being one venue: the Tower Museum, Eden Place Arts Centre and the Women’s Centre comprising the other three venues.
Commissioned by: Verbal Arts Centre, and curator
Date(s): 7th February 2009 - 6th April 2009
Venue: Verbal Arts Centre, Derry / Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Stable Lane and Mall Wall, Bishop Street Within, Derry/Londonderry, BT48 6PU, Northern Ireland
Curator: Roberta Bacic
Facilitator: Verbal Arts Centre staff
Outcome: This exhibition exposed viewers to, and prompted reflection on, the harsh conditions experienced by displaced Andean women in the 1980s. Integrating it with the "Women's Real" exhibition harnassed and sustained the momentum from the 2008 exhibition "The Art of Survival: International and Irish quilts". It further introduced viewers from all walks of life to a wide variety of textiles with a broad spectrum of themes. Having it several locations encouraged viewers to see different areas of the city, perhaps previously unfamiliar to them.

Documents: • Exhibition catalogue - Feb 2009 - view