Forgetting your own people’s traditions and customs is not an option, at least not from my point of view. Therefore, whenever I get the chance to see Romanians honoring our own traditions, I feel humble, happy to share such moments, so I can write about them later on. This time I have witnessed a moment of cultural and historical uncover of the past and present reflected in the artwork of two Romanian artisans and artists.
On August 25, at Orizont Gallery, Georgeta Mocanu and Marijana Bitulescu, opened the doors to their souls by revealing an amazing exhibition of tapestry and textile collages. It’s called Beyond.Threads (Dincolo. De fire). It’s not just a collection wonderful pieces gathered on the same roof, but a rewriting of four hands of all meanings of contemporary tapestry.
As Alexandra Craciun, the curator of this exhibition so nicely said it at the opening, when looking at these pieces, one understands that
“Tapestry is not just an art. It’s a science of getting to the bottom of all things, of growing woods without acorns, of raising offerings of threads.”
A graduate from Nicolae Grigorescu Plastic Arts Institute (Bucharest), since 1979 Mocanu has presented her tapestries and textiles in numerous local and international exhibitions. In 1986 she moved to Paris to work as a conservator for Chevalier Conservation, an establishment founded in 1917, which specializes in the restoration, conservation and cleaning of carpets, rugs, tapestries and textiles be they ancient or contemporary. Her restoration pieces are part of important French museums such as Louvre, Musee de la Renaissance, Ecouen, Rouen, Musee de Beaux Arts etc.
Her story-like trees are hand-made on vertical loom in a workshop in Transylvania, in Nandru village (Hunedoara county). They maybe well be trees, cathedral columns and thoughts given to God by the artisan.
The artisans in Nandru used what is called the Persian asymmetric knot (senneh) technique. The length of the wool thread varies from 4 to 15 cm and sometimes even more and which gives the tapestry that 3D look-like.
Born in Craiova city, Bitulescu has graduated Nicolae Grigorescu Plastic Arts Institute (Bucharest). Since 1979 Bitulescu has displayed her art works in over 25 exhibitions and art shows in Bruxelles, Paris, Strasbourg, Beirut, Istanbul, Constanta and Bucharest. Her miniatures and textile collages are part of private collections from France, USA, Germany, Italy, Canada, Belgium, Holland, Greece, Spain and Romania.
Bitulescu’s creations tell stories of angels and old churches, forms and impulses, flowers and colors, yet they allow you to recreate them in your own personal style. There’s a certain joy and happiness you can feel when looking at the textile collage…
As Nikolai Berdiaev so nicely said it, tradition is “a communion with history’s mystery” … and Beyond.Threads made me travel through time and space to within me hidden moments of history, spirituality and culture.