Sunday, 19 September 2021
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  • Textile Details

    'Cesantía / Unemployment', by unknown male prisoner. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)
    'Cesantía / Unemployment', by unknown male prisoner. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)


    Title of Textile:Cesantía / Unemployment
    Maker: Unknown male prisoner
    Country of Origin: Chile
    Year Produced: 1980c
    Size (cm): 46cm x 35cm
    Materials: Scraps of material glued to a burlap backing bordered by sweater scraps machine attached
    Type of Textile: Arpillera

    This remarkable arpillera stands out from the rest of this exhibition as the techniques employed are quite different. The method used, which may not be noticed at first glance, can best be described as the glue technique. Instead of stitching the pieces together to convey the story, glue is used to attach them to the backing. Another remarkable technical difference stands out in relation to the border of the arpillera; instead of crochet, a piece of an old sweater is used and machine sewn onto it.

    Through interviews and conversations with ex political prisoners and arpilleristas, Curator Roberta Bacic, has found out that this type of arpillera was made by men while imprisoned. They used techniques that were closer to other artisan work they engaged in while in captivity, be that working with leather, bone or wood. This method of expression seemed to best suit the messages, thoughts and feelings they wanted to convey.

    In this arpillera, we can see that the man depicted is either still imprisoned or has just been released. He is certainly troubled by the prospect of no work and the fact that he will not be able to pay for food and basic utilities such as water and electricity. In his mind the words “No Vacancies” are haunting.

    The strong image of the large clenched fist, raised up in defiance, grasping a hammer gives us an indication of his political background.

    Owner: Conflict Textiles collection. Provenance Lala & Austin Winkley, England.
    Location: Roberta Bacic, Northern Ireland
    Original / Replica: Original
    Photographer: Martin Melaugh

    Textile exhibited at: Arpilleras and the Poetry of Survival, 10/05/2011 - 9/06/2011
    Transforming threads of resistance, 27/02/2012 - 9/03/2012
    Textile Voices From Our City: 2013 & Story Textiles From Around The world , 3/08/2013 - 9/10/2013
    COSIENDO PAZ: Conflicto, Arpilleras, Memoria , 26/03/2015 - 30/09/2015
    COSIENDO PAZ: Conflicto, Arpilleras, Memoria, 8/10/2015 - 4/04/2016
    COSIENDO PAZ: Conflicto, Arpilleras, Memoria STITCHING PEACE: Conflict, Arpilleras, M, 13/04/2016 - 12/06/2016
    Stitching Memoryscape 「記憶風景を縫う」, 30/05/2017 - 12/06/2017
    Stitching Memoryscape 「記憶風景を縫う」, 1/07/2017 - 9/07/2017
    Stitching Memoryscape 「記憶風景を縫う」, 29/08/2017 - 3/09/2017
    Arpilerak: Memoriaren Haritik Etorkizuna Josten / Arpilleras: Al Hilo De La Memoria, 12/04/2018 - 24/04/2018
    ARIPILLERAS: AL HILO DE LA MEMORIA, TEJIENDO FUTURO / Arpilleras: Knitting the Future, 25/04/2018 - 30/05/2018

    Textile Detail Image(s)