Textile Poetry: 2023 "Bosco Degli Artisti" Installation

Art Installation by Augusta Fashion's Creative Director, Maria Wozniak. 

Part of Aspromondo Artist Residency by Face Festival in the Aspromonte Mountain Region of Calabria, Italy. 

Introduction: In my artistic practice, I explore the world of textiles, deeply intrigued by the profound ability of fabrics and fashion to express identity and elevate the narratives of diverse communities. I firmly believe that textile art has the power to collect and present data in ways that engage and empower people, especially those in marginalized segments of society. This project delves into the influence of textiles from both a psychological and environmental perspective, drawing inspiration from the rich natural and cultural landscape of Calabria.

A Journey Through Nature and Culture: My artistic journey in Calabria began with the utilization of natural dyes extracted from local plants, creating a vibrant and authentic color palette. Additionally, I engaged in intricate embroidery work and silk printing, featuring my own designs. For this project, I was particularly drawn to the history of textile art in Calabria, with a keen focus on the significant role played by embroidery, especially in the context of women's history.

The Significance of Embroidery in Calabria: Embroidery is intimately connected to female education and serves as a means of emotional release, pleasure, bonding among women, and socio-cultural development. Over time, embroidery evolved from a repetitive task into a creative outlet, a means of expressing one's inner world.

Historically, women were denied rights to land, wealth, their own children, and even control over their own bodies, which led them to leave their mark on textiles. For most women, linens were the only property they could truly own. Fabrics would be passed down from daughters to granddaughters, creating a tangible thread connecting generations of women. Often, these linens were embroidered with their names, their symbols, and, ultimately, with the desire not to fade into obscurity.

Inspiration from the Past: I drew inspiration from an 18th-century woman's embroidery, which poignantly expressed:

When I am dead and in my grave, And all my bones are rotten, When this you see remember me, That I will not be forgotten

The Purpose: This installation seeks to represent and celebrate the journey of discovering a poetry that celebrates survival rather than defeat. It is a testament to finding one's voice and steadfastly insisting on its expression.

Acknowledgments: I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the entire FaceFestival staff for their support and encouragement in bringing this project to life.