Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Textile Details

'Després de les onades / Después de las olas / After the waves', by Pilar López. (Photo: Deborah Stockdale)
'Després de les onades / Después de las olas / After the waves', by Pilar López. (Photo: Deborah Stockdale)


Title of Textile:Després de les onades / Después de las olas / After the waves
Maker: Pilar López
Country of Origin: Catalonia
Year Produced: 2016
Size (cm): 38cm (w) x 29cm (l)
Materials: Scraps of material and leather straps sewn onto burlap
Type of Textile: Arpillera

On 4th November 2010, Pilar set to work on this arpillera during a workshop titled – “An Emotional View of Evacuation in War time”. It was one of several workshops focusing on the theme of war and conflict, linked to the The Human Cost of War exhibition at the Tower Museum, Derry/Londonderry.

Eight years later Pilar reflects on how the piece took shape: "As the topic was displaced people I started to sew the desert, with rough textiles …to show the difficulty, the struggle to bypass the difficulties, the fears when leaving behind a village, a town and push forward where their exile would take them".

Images of the Sahrawi refugees were forefront in her mind. This refugee crisis dates back to 1975/76 when Sahrawis fled Moroccan forces, during the Western Sahara War and settled in camps near Tindouf, southwest Algeria. It has been described as one of the most protracted refugee situations in the world. Danish Refugee Council

Pilar completed this arpillera in 2016, in preparation for Després de les onades / After the Waves hosted by Fundació Ateneu Sant Roc, an exhibition which sought to promote reflection and action on the situation of refugees globally.

In her words this finished piece shows “the desolation of the ones who have to leave the life they have had, the suffering of destroyed families, leaving behind friends, culture and home village. It also highlights the courage to start a new journey, full of hardship. [However] the strength of the child on her shoulder pushes the woman to survive".

May the image of this displaced woman, edging forward on her journey, clutching her baby tightly, remind us of the 82.4 million forcibly displaced people worldwide - 26.4 million of whom are refugees - and prompt us to welcome those who have come to our shores.

Owner: Fundació Ateneu Sant Roc collection
Location: Fundación Ateneu Sant Roc, Badalona, Catalonia / Spain
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Deborah Stockdale
Provenance: Pilar López

Textile Detail Image(s)