Arts & Entertainment

A long thread: the life and work of a Mexican embroidery artist

Mexico City, Mar 23 (EFE).- The exhibition “A Long Thread” at the Museo de El Carmen in the Mexican capital gathers the life and work of Elena Martínez Bolio, an embroidery artist and connoisseur of textiles.

Martínez Bolio created the exhibition with the Regional Museum of Anthropology of Yucatán as a result of three years of staying with and embroidering with women from the town of Xocén.

“A Long Thread” seeks to interweave and show “the plot of my past as a mother, something that is real and is still present (… There were) those confusing beginnings in motherhood that can only be shown in textiles,” the artist told Efe.

Visitors will find an intimate journey through the life of the artist explained in textile works, garments, rooms and words, but also denunciation and longing for a better world.

“Although (the exhibition) wants to denounce, it does not want to recriminate, it wants to empathize with all human beings. It suggests that we can have a better world, with interwoven acts of kindness and that they are permanent, that they bring us a daily life,” said Martínez Bolio, who added that her work with the needle and the thread took her to visit communities.

Although the artist was previously in communities in places such as Guatemala and the Mexican state of Chiapas, she has spent the last eight years in the state of Yucatan where, she thinks, the creations of the Mayan ethnic group are not being valued.

“The artisans themselves prefer immediate money and they are right because there is no support or programs. We urgently need to stop replicating and do our job. There are talents who know how to work, who need a boost,” she said.

In “A Long Thread” she shows the breadth of skills and knowledge of the Mayan communities with which she works, in which women but also men have managed to maintain a careful and respectful look at the textile that, she considered, is “in extinction.”

“The pollution of the planet is real. The textile factories cause a lot of damage. Being unique is not valued anymore and we have also lost identity. We are no longer ourselves, we are fashion and we are what other people say,” concluded Martínez Bolio.

As part of the show, the embroiderer will be offering four workshops: one on embroidered self portraits for women, another on embroidered, written or drawn self-portraits, one for the elderly and the last for children.

The exhibition will be open between Mar. 25 and Aug. 28. EFE


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