Saturday, 30 September 2023

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

In this remarkable arpillera the techniques used 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 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, Conflict Textiles 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
Location: Roberta Bacic, Northern Ireland
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Martin Melaugh
Provenance: Lala & Austin Winkley, England.

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 , 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
Connecting Ties: A Transatlantic Friendship and the Northern Ireland Peace Process, 17/11/2023 - 20/03/2024

Textile Detail Image(s)