“From Her Hands: Latin American Textile Art” opened at CCSU’s Burritt Library on February 1, 2010. This exhibit showcases three Latin American textile art forms handcrafted by women. They are Chilean arpilleras, Panamanian molas and Guatemalan weavings. The exhibit runs through the month of February.
Arpilleras are hand sewn of cotton. They are backed by burlap, called ‘arpillera’ in Spanish. These three dimensional appliqué textiles depict the history of Chile and the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet in chilling detail. Scenes of torture, interment, and exile are juxtaposed with scenes of grief, loneliness, protest and, ultimately, happiness that the dictatorship has come to an end. The centerpiece is a 29” by 76” quilt portraying a complete history of the country. The display is accompanied by quotes and a poem from Dr. Marjorie Agosín, whose collection is on loan to the library.
Molas are beautifully hand sewn reverse appliqué art created by the Kuna of Panamá. The molas are both sewn and worn by Kuna women and girls. They depict daily life, spirituality and folk tales of the Kuna. Photographs by Dr. Galen Frysinger and information accompany this display, on loan from the collection of Carol Brault.
Guatemalan weavings, the traditional dress of Maya women, are created on a backstrap loom. They demonstrate craftsmanship excellence. The huipil, or traditional blouse, of Santiago de Atitlán is hand embroidered with birds and flowers. Photographs, information and books accompany the display on this subject. It is on loan from the collections of Carol Brault and Dr. Abigail Adams.
Dr. Marjorie Agosín, a noted expert on Chilean Arpilleras, will speak in the Library’s Special Collections Room on February 17, 2010 at 4PM. She will discuss the Pinochet regime and its influence on the women who created arpilleras. A slide show and refreshments will accompany the lecture.