Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wisdom of Worldly Women Project, part 2

Before every class I would go and buy embroidery thread and prepare it for use. One week I visited my Mum, and we sat together and wound the thread for the women, she even donated her supply of embroidery thread for the project (as did my friend Kasia, who also was a sounding board for my ideas for the project. Kasia suggested that I look at the Bayeux Tapestry, which became my inspiration for creating a narrative panel).
I couldn't just go and buy colour in bulk as every week the needs were different. Some weeks, lime green would be in great demand, the next week yellow, so before the end of the class I would write down the requests for the next week. I love this photo by Fiona, as I would arrive with the embroidery thread laid out like this and at the end of the class it would be almost empty and very messy.
It was like the panels sucked up colours.

photo by Fiona O'Grady

The embroidery below by Cemile is of the hospital in Corum where she gave birth to her first child. The man outside the building is her husband waiting for a female relative to escort him inside. The babies are pictured at the end of each bed.

photo by Fiona O'Grady

photo by Fiona O'Grady

an Australian gumtree

This project also involved Fiona O'Grady taking photos of the women and recording their experiences to produce a book which was exhibited with the embroidery work. Nazife Sahin worked with Fiona and the women on collecting their stories.

When our teacher said, “Can you draw something very important that related where you come from?” Straight away I remembered Corum clock tower which where I was belonged, I thought building next to that tower is mosque but my husband told its not. One other thing in front of every houses in Corum has cherry trees which was surrounded all the arms with cherries and it’s looked beautiful who ever from Corum they’ll know what I mean. I have personal hobbie which, no matter which house I am living, I return that house into flower garden, I love flowers, and sometimes I will spoil myself by buying a bunch of flowers, I will cut it, put into the vase and changed it water and it will last for two weeks.


It is a good feeling to be involved in this project. For example, we, the friends, came together, sit, talked; made, enjoyed everything and we learned lots of things. What do we do unless we come here? We were just staying home. It was really good for us. It gave us confidence and we observed the potentials within us. It is a kind of an encouragement for us. None of us have tried to draw the melons and watermelons that we grow up in our gardens onto a paper and then embodied them. For example, I am not a person who drew anything after the school. I was made draw the home in which I was born and grew up. And it reminded me that home and I lived these memories. It took me to my memories which are important for me. They were really important for me and for us.

It is important to learn and teach all the things that we know, because if we don’t give value to them and teach them they will disappear. In addition to that there is a memory of every needle within me. I investigate how much effort put on it. I personally give vale to the labour and there is so much effort on these things. Because it is done needle by needle and eye straining work, it must be very valuable. In the meantime we have to give more value to handicraft arts.

I am indebted to Penelope Durston for her advice and expertise during the project. I am not a textile artist and my skills are rudimentary, and Penelope helped me to technically bring the work together as well as offering her aesthetic opinion which I value highly.

more images tomorrow