Tuesday, 23 April 2024

Textile Details

'The house we had to leave', by Women refugees, Ariadna project, Rijeka, Croatia. (Photo: Colin Peck)
'The house we had to leave', by Women refugees, Ariadna project, Rijeka, Croatia. (Photo: Colin Peck)


Title of Textile:The House We Had to Leave
Maker: Women refugees, Ariadna project
Country of Origin: Croatia
Year Produced: 1995
Size (cm): 1.20m (w) x 0.99m (l)
Materials: A mixture of natural and synthetic fabrics
Type of Textile: Quilt

Ariadna is a women's project where, since July 1993, women from Rijeka in Croatia, together with refugee women from Bosnia, have created a centre of mutual help and self-help for women in need. Having abandoned home and hearth in utter haste, these women's only asset in the alien land of their refuge is their skill to manufacture traditional handicrafts. In workshops, these skills are activated, honed further, and used in order to enhance the women's sense of self-worth, on one hand, and to offer them the possibility of earning some income on the other.

All of the women were forced to leave their homes suddenly, leaving behind friends and family as well as furniture and familiar surroundings. For that reason, the women decided to create a piece with a house of their own, made out of cloth so that grenades and bombs could not destroy it.

As the house began to take shape, the work awakened memories of old customs, songs, and traditions. The women were all familiar with the building of a house, many having built their previous homes themselves. As the roof took shape, the women turned reflective, remembering roofing ceremonies from their home countries. Songs broke out spontaneously in the group, and all would join in. Slowly but surely, the rooms began to take shape, with traditional furniture and designs. The women even designed a garden, their own private sanctuary. The piece provided each woman with a sense of home and belonging, though she was miles away in a strange new land.

Owner: Women in One World / Frauen in der Einen Welt e.V
Location: Nuremberg, Germany
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Colin Peck

Textile exhibited at: The Art of Survival: International and Irish Quilts, 8/03/2008 - 19/04/2008

Textile Detail Image(s)