Weaving Cultural and Personal Memory: Academic Symposium

April 28, 2022 12:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Book your free in-person and livestream tickets here


Join us for an afternoon of talks relating to the theme ‘Weaving Cultural and Personal Memory’. Speakers will present their papers on a range of topics and the event will culminate with presentations from two keynote speakers.

The intersection between cultural and personal memory underpins textile art produced by women. Conventionally associated with the domestic, and therefore traditionally excluded from the realm of fine art, textile art is invested with an individual resonance while also carrying a wider cultural and social significance.

Contributors will present papers which discuss a range of cultures and periods, addressing topics such as personal and collective storytelling through textiles, textile art as political protest, the therapeutic potential of textiles and textile art as a means of memorialisation.

Organised by Naomi Polonsky and Lorna Dillon the curators of What Lies Beneath: Women, Politics, Textiles, in collaboration with curatorial assistants Laura Moseley, Koni Borowiak, Francesca Vella Bonnici and Annie Roberts. Supported by the Leverhulme Trust and the Art Fund.

Running order

2pm: Introduction

2:10pm: Session 1

Camila Mattola: PhD student at the University of Sassari ‘Maria Lai’s fiber art and the subversive power of folktales’

CJ Salapare: graduate student at the University of Cambridge ‘Crafted Encounters, Woven Networks: Pacita Abad’s Cultural and Material Syncretisms in the Immigrant Experience Series’

Yupeng Wu: MA student at the Courtauld Institute of Art ‘Exhibiting Miao Embroidered Textiles: Internal Orientalism and the (Re)Imagining of an Ethnic Minority Identity in China’

Nicole Casari Gasparini: PhD student at the Courtauld Institute of Art ‘The Tapestries Collection of the Duke and the Duchesse du Maine: A Locus for Gender Appropriation and Translation in Early Eighteenth-Century Paris’

3:30pm: Break

3:45pm: Session 2 Dr Lucy Howarth: art historian and lecturer in Contextual + Theoretical Studies at the University for the Creative Arts, Canterbury ‘Margo Selby X Love Welcomes – Patchwork Art Blankets by Refugee Women’

Zoë Quick: PhD student at University College London ‘an unlikely pair: Nellie Evans’ ‘funeral’ stockings OR: reknitting subjectivity, loss and survival in the Welsh uplands’

Nadine Nour el Din: MA student at the Courtauld Institute of Art ‘Crafting Cultural Heritage: Women’s Weaving at Egypt’s Wissa Wassef Art Centre’

Dr. Catherine Dormor: Head of Research Programmes and Reader in Textile Practices at the Royal College of Art ‘Claiming Space: cloth, stitch and performative practices as agents for change’

5pm: Refreshments

5:30pm: Session 3 Jamie Danis: PhD student at the University of Cambridge ‘Behind the Process: Howardena Pindell’s Painted Textiles’

Dr. Isabella Woldt: Acting Chair Professor for Art Theory and Artistic Practice at Medical School Hamburg ‘Weaving Socio-political spaces, Goshka Macuga’s Tapestries’

Ann Coxon: Curator, International Art at Tate Modern, keynote speech

Permindar Kaur: Artist in What Lies Beneath: Women, Politics, Textiles, keynote speech

7pm: End of event