Arpillera (pronounced ‘ ar-pee-air-ah’) literally means ‘hessian’ or ‘burlap'. This sacking fabric was used as the base of traditional Chilean tapestries created by women during the Pinochet dictatorship in the 1970s as a means of resistance, subsistence and expression. They have since been made in several countries by women speaking out for justice and peace.
The Wellington Arpilleras Collective (www.arpilleraswellington.com), a group of (mostly) Latin American women based in Wellington, has been sewing arpilleras together since 2014. In this exhibition, we share some of our individual and collective pieces, which explore aspects of our migration stories; work, identity, relationships, historic memories, and the re-creation of meaningful lives.
In the exhibition, we are also very humbled to share a number of arpilleras from Memorarte, a fellow group of arpilleristas based in Chile. Their work involves keeping memories alive and giving visibility to contemporary issues of social and environmental justice.
Come and join us to thread stories and places, and to celebrate a part of Wellington's diverse and rich community fabric.
Alongside the exhibition, we’ll be showing a documentary on the history of arpilleras on Friday evening and hosting a workshop on Saturday.
More details can be found on our facebook event page here