This fascinating exhibition explores the role of Craft and the handmade within political activism. The exhibition explores objects used within the fight for social and political change from the 1970s onwards. There are a number of really interesting examples of textiles.
Arpilleras are appliquéd textiles from Chile that were made by women to express the violence experienced during the Pinochet dictatorship. These were sold to generate income for the women but also contained subversive messages that the authorities didn’t notice thinking they were simply folk art. These pieces would have been created in communal groups that allowed women to talk and share their stories.
The Nike Blanket instigated by Cat Mazza consists of a collection of knitted and crocheted squares that make up a huge banner/blanket that contains the Nike logo. Each square acts as a signature in a petition for better conditions for workers in Nike factories.
Also present in the exhibition, hanging from the ceiling, were appliquéd banners from Greenham Common.
It was a very interesting exhibition and particularly because most of the work on display has been created out of necessity by people who would not consider themselves to be artists in anyway. They have chosen these techniques as their best way to explain and vocalize their struggles.