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Communal study: textile narratives

Italiano (Italian)

*by Maria Ortega

Exhibition: “Estudi comunitari: narratives tèxtile” (Communal study: textile narratives)
Mateixes Mancances (Leia Goiria e Berta Vallvé)
Grau-Garriga Center for Contemporary Textile Art

The exhibition “Communal studies: textile narratives” results from collaborative research on women textile artists’ genealogy and legacy, often neglected by the hegemonic narrative of the history of art, according to a political strategy of devaluating women’s techniques related to domesticity.

Starting from a need to generate a sense of community, the meeting gathered female artists and experts working with the textile medium, where shared thinking, reflection and experiences have accompanied the creation.


The exhibition presents a participatory installation visually conveying the dialogues surfaced during the symposium and making them public. The work constructed by the different contributions interwoven to bring new perspectives to the fore and talk about arts and textile language.

The exhibition “Community studies: textile narratives” is the trace left by the meeting between experts and artists who have the textile medium as a mutual denominator to think together and share visions related to these artistic practices.

The meeting took place on September 18 2021, at the Grau-Garriga Centre for Contemporary Textile Art. Leia Goiria and Berta Vallvé, members of the Mateixes Mancances association and project creators, invited a group of women artists.

Some of the questions that emerged during the meeting were: what practices do we consume, and what textile references do we have?

From these, a stimulating collective conversation began with the aim of generating an interactive installation to cohabit, construct and intervene collectively in the space, developing a place for oral and practical discussion, allowing artistic creation and reflection on textile languages to coexist in the same environment.

The installation resulted from a day of crossbreeding born of collective and political making, personal experiences. Finally, we agreed on shared criteria as a group and reached a consensus on the concepts and proposals to shape the work, thus erasing authorship.

The initial proposal for Mateixes Mancances consisted on a hexagonal shape made of wooden planks inspired by artist Cecilia Vicuña’s hut. This sort of tent incorporated layers of white Orgal. We collectively planned possible ways of intervention and mutation from this basic form to translate the conversations into textile languages.

This arrangement conveyed the feeling of warmth and domestic intimacy, which was one of the characteristics we chose to retain. Still, we removed the solid wooden structure to create a new, more organic and dynamic support.

We thus dislocated the main structure to configure new ones. The wires and ribbons supported a more circular and connected shape to emulate our relationships while working at the piece.

To return to the origin, the wood, which we initially rejected, was recovered and brought back to life through a ritual of care and slow revaluation processes.

Likewise, the torn fabric was reconstructed, mended or sewn, mimicking the gesture of care and paying homage to our mothers, grandmothers and ancestors.

The piece speaks of those practices associated with femininity that we have rejected for years. These are re-evaluated under a new perspective, out of necessity, will, or due to profound intuition.

The openings in both pieces allow for dialogue and invite transitions, facilitating the physical experience within the work.

To make public what is private, we presented the work’s process of execution and configuration through photography, a narration that has captured the successes, doubts, and conversations.

Mateixes Mancances (2018) is an artistic collective formed by Berta Vallvé and Leia Goiria. Starting from our common background, we adopted textiles as a medium to reflect on the concepts of gender and space and the role of women in contemporary art.

Participating artists: Iratxe Larrea, Ana Musma, Anna III, Luna Acosta, Mireia Coromina, Tania Berta Judith, Mateixes Mancances (Leia Goiria and Berta Vallvé) and María Ortega.

Project developed with the support of the La Escocesa 2020 artistic research grant and the Centre Grau-Garriga d’Art Tèxtil Contemporani.

Photographs: Eva Carasol

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