Journey of a Thread Venice 2019
In the years of my youth, I experienced the wonderful simplicity of Lithuanian village life. I was immersed in a world steeped in tradition and taught to respect the heritage and customs passed down through the generations before me. As an adult, I made a choice to move to the UAE, which over nearly two decades, has become home. During these years, I have observed and admired the many similarities that appear in both cultures. My work on Journey of a Thread looks at the love of weaving that is common in Bedouin and Lithuanian cultures, both of which explore depths of folklore and demonstrate communication powers hidden within this craft.
Al Sadu, an ancient Bedouin tribal weaving art form, is rhythmically linked to poetry, memory, the weaving practice, and the graceful movement of a camel. Lithuanian weaving is commonly manifested in the sashes that form a part of the national costume, a hugely important piece bestowed on a person at birth and used for ceremonies and festivities thereafter. Both cultures communicate messages through their patterns and designs, telling stories and creating identity. Historically, this has been womens work and just as women bear children, they also carry forth many of the traditions through time-honoured practices such as these.
Journey of a Thread tells the story of threads that connect me to the two countries I call home. I have travelled and lived between each culture, adopting and absorbing many elements of both. Here in this work, I tell my story in the patterns and symbols I have chosen to use and have adapted the materials to illustrate my own unique journey. Each bead contains a wish or a prayer, and in the process of creating the pattern I share a part of my life experiences. The rhythmic movements, the sounds of the beads as they move between my fingers, sing songs of my travels and share stories of my journey. They remind me of morning prayers that wake me, and the sounds of the loom clacking back and forth in the adjacent room of my grandmother’s house. The thread holds and supports me as I cross between two cultures, it ties me to my memories and to the things that have influenced me.