What became possible for me personally after this difficult year was learning to ask for help when I need it. Taking inspiration from domestic textiles from my grandmother’s house in Minas Gerais (where I spent a lot of time during the pandemic) I embroidered “ask for help” on a cotton wash towel in Portuguese beside a shining sun. The textiles in her home, and in many homes all across Minas Gerais, often double as functional cleaning tools and narrative objects that carry informational phrases which express good expectations. I have been very interested in the narrative element of embroidery, and the way it can be used to transmit knowledge and represent collective values, as well as memory, through useful domestic objects. I would be cleaning the dirty kitchen floor with an old rag, completely lost in thought and motion, and all of a sudden I would notice an inspirational quote like “you can do anything with family by your side” written on the rag, and would feel a sudden rush of joy and uplift. The rag, dirty and mangled, became a source of poetry and inspiration, and perhaps a metaphor for looking back through this year while assessing what might be possible in the future.
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