Thursday, 9 February 2023

Textile Details

'We Arpilleristas portray our own personal truth', by Linda Adams. (Photo: Julie Coimbra)
'We Arpilleristas portray our own personal truth', by Linda Adams. (Photo: Julie Coimbra)


Title of Textile:We Arpilleristas portray our own personal truth
Maker: Linda Adams
Country of Origin: England
Year Produced: 2017
Size (cm): 43cm (w) x 31cm(l)
Materials: Recycled furnishing fabrics and clothing
Type of Textile: Arpillera

Public spaces, parks and care of the environment are recurring themes in the work of Linda Adams. She first discovered arpilleras when she attended "The Politics of Chilean Arpilleras" exhibition at the Centre for Latin American Studies (CLAS) in Cambridge University, 2008. Her first arpillera featured her local park, “a special place in the snapshots of womens’ lives”.

Nine years later, returning to the exhibition space where she embarked on her arpillera journey, Linda revisits the theme of public parks. She presents a grim picture of a self-absorbed populace, pre-occupied with “selfie” images, unaware of what is happening in their immediate environment and beyond.

Linda “weep[s] in sympathy with those who lost their family and friends in the Grenfell Tower fire in Kensington, West London, a disaster which claimed the lives of 80 people. She loudly proclaims: “THEY DID NOT DESERVE THIS”. As she weeps, it seems to her that “the city swarms with people totally engrossed in taking selfies”, prompting her to conclude that “feeding social media has become the most important thing in peoples’ lives [and] some die taking unnecessary risks to get a selfie”.

This self-absorption assaults Linda’s senses at every turn as she portrays people “selfish enough to ignore children who could be in danger”. She witnesses people who “deliberately go to where a tragedy is unfolding and get in the way of rescuers so they can take selfies”, numb to the adversity and misfortune of others.

While the park will always be a special place for Linda, her personal truth portrayed here is that many who pass through it remain addicted to their technological devices, are cocooned in their own world, inured to the pain of others and oblivious to the expanding city encroaching on this natural environment.

Owner: Conflict Textiles collection
Location: c/o Julie Coimbra, (CLAS), University of Cambridge until 28th October
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Julie Coimbra

Textile exhibited at: Arpilleras Speak Truth, 25/09/2017 - 28/10/2017

Textile Detail Image(s)