Embroidery from Memory
Can I reproduce my Grandma’s tablecloth, from memory?
This embroidery happened one Fall New York evening. I have moved there recently, I was homesick and tired of moving often. I desperately wanted to reproduce a familiar item in my new, foreign home. I decided to produce item that I have seem probably most in my life - my Grandma’s tablecloth.
Her tablecloth was there, clear in my head, just like it was always there, on her table. I intintively took needle and thread and believed that the craft will just pour out of me. After I finished embroidering this square, I stopped, I was happy. I put the embroidery on my wall and felt much better.
I had the embroidery on my wall for that whole New York year. When I came home back to Croatia, I visited my grandmother and asked to show me her tablecloths. How impressed I was! The embroidery materialized quite differently from the original. Color and rythm had some similarities, but it was still a completely different image.
Many questions arouse from this little experiment. What is craft? How do we preserve it? What is memory? Crafting from memory, is it possible (like drawing from memory)? What do we remember, what do we forget? Emotional significance, can it be reproduced? The need to be surrounded by familiar, known? Textiles as heritage, culture, memory?