An Exhibition of Embroidered Textiles from Mexico
Curated by Rebecca Devaney
8th – 29th July 2016
Mexican Embassy, 19 Raglan Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
“The women spoke of how the embroideries are embedded with their experiences, emotions, and
personalities as expressed through the colours, motifs and patterns that they chose.”
– Rebecca Devaney
Rebecca Devaney will showcase the rich textile tradition and heritage of Mexico in
an exhibition featuring a collection of 18 superb embroideries which are
accompanied by fascinating narratives gathered from artisans during her travels in
the vast and beautiful country of Mexico.
She spent the summer of 2015 researching the cultural significance, craft and
aesthetic of embroidered textiles and met with indigenous craftspeople, artists,
anthropologists, and museum curators. The traditional craft is passed down through
generations of women to daughters as young as 5 or 6 and the income it generates
often affords them financial independence and autonomy.
Rebecca stayed in refurbished convents, converted colonial mansions and
charming posadas, wandered through breath-taking churches, dazzling markets and
tranquil plazas, feasted on Tacos al Pastor, Huevos Rancheros and Chiliaquiles and
drank rich hot chocolate, refreshing licuados and delicious Horchata. She travelled
more than 3,600 kilometres by bus, taxi, collectivo, rickshaw and metro.
She explains, “My journey began when I found myself standing at the frantic
platform in Xalapa bus station, a bundle of nerves and wondering what I had gotten
myself involved in! I had just graduated from an MFA in Textile Art and Artefact
from NCAD and was honoured to receive the Thomas Dammann Junior Memorial
Trust Award which funded the project. I settled into the surprisingly comfortable
seat and eventually became excited for the trip to come.”
Throughout her journey she was amazed by the heartfelt generosity, hospitality and
warmth that the people of Mexico are famous for. Strangers invited her into their
houses, studios and offices and gave of their time without hesitation. As well as
beautiful embroideries, she was shown precious family heirlooms, clippings of
treasured newspaper articles and cherished certificates and prizes. She received
impromptu lectures, tours and lessons from people that were brimming with pride
about their ancient and magnificent culture. And she was also given innumerable
glasses of water for which she is eternally grateful!
There are excerpts from the interviews with craftspeople and co-operatives here….
And more details of the trip here…