Projects at The Third Line
Madafati / مضافتي TBC
September 21 – October 22, 2010
The second exhibition at The Third Line’s Projects space centres on the idea of ‘home’ and ‘belonging’. Loreta Bilinskaite-Monie presents a selection of embroidered works which tells the story of her life in the UAE and how it inspires her.
Lithuania: A young girl grows up watching the women the women in her family skilfully working on embroidery and needlework, assembling coloured threads and fabric that tell a story through visual representations on cloth. This young girl is Loreta Bilinskaite-Monie. And her insprirations comes from her family memories and famous Bayeux Tapestry. Displayed at the The Musee de la Reine Mathilde in France, this tapestry is recorded at 70 metres long and tells the story of the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. Said to have been sewn by Norman monks in the 11th century, it stands as a source of history and unique work of art serving as an invaluable historical representation of life 994 years ago. Dubai: A multicultural metropolis that is constantly growing and changing. The balance of old-age tradition and the fast-paced life of the present and future. These are the elements which build the basis of Loreta Bilinskaite-Monie’s exhibition: her home country, the country she calls home and the art of embroidery.
Having moved to Dubai in 2003, Bilinskaite-Monie has since then developed an overwhelming connection with the Emirates and the fast diversity it offers. Coming from a country with historical involvement on textile and fabric, she has incorporated those roots with the stories and familiarities she has picked up during her years in the Middle East. As a result she has created a pop inspired series after working closely with local craftsmen and embroiderers. This selection of canvasses, intricately detailed with a variety of colored beads, sequins and thread, reflects the local Emirati culture. Together with these works, she has created a video documenting the interaction between her and these craftsmen. This record reveals the delicate yet rewarding relationship of two different cultures coming together to create works and tell a story of the place where they met.
Sheikh Zayed (Gold), 2009, Hand Embroidery on canvas with gold beads & sequins, 90 x 90 cm
Her selection of works takes on a hip contemporary twist on traditional embroidery and her subjects are the influences she encountered during her life in Dubai, whether it is a pattern she has seen, a saying she has heard or a person she knows. Detailed canvases of beads and sequins outline recognizable icons as H. H. Sheikh Zayed and specifically chosen fabric associate the eye with the traditional flowing jalabiyas.
The exhibition is unassumingly divided into two sections: the public/male and private/female, and integrates the notions of society in her works. Delegating the floral, henna-themed, and designer branded works to the private section, the pieces centered on vehicles and currency fall under public. The subject of all these works based on her interaction with them on a daily basis and are constants in her life in the UAE.
Bilinskaite-Monie feels a comfort here, a place where she is a foreigner but not a stranger. With a sense of nostalgia towards individual traditions similar to those she has for her home country; the importance of culture and communal interaction is reflected in her work. She and her craftsmen pay homage to the Norman monks; this show, in a way, is her Bayeux Tapestry and is inspired by the country where she feels welcome; in a place that is not her home, but a home away from home.