The power of association: Chile Crea Textil

CCT: Developing and spreading Chilean textile art

Reconstruct-us opening. Foreground: sdalatinREP, and CCT President Andrea Fischer. Background: U.S. artist Carol Westfall, and German artists Christine Altona and Helene Altona.

For many years in Chile some artistic expressions weren’t considered disciplines of high aesthetic value; textile art being one of them. Eventually, however, academic training and international contact—among many other factors, helped change around this situation. Nowadays the work of artists within this discipline is favored by greater receptiveness and appreciation of their proposals thanks to access to a wide range of creation possibilities, which is due to diversity and richness of technique and materials developed for centuries by first-settler artisans, mestizo country traditions, and urban creation.

Visitors browsing through the Reconstruct-us exhibit in Costa Rica.

In 2007, hoping to grow within their work and optimize the growing interest to cultivate this discipline, a group of Chilean textile artists formed a non-profit organization they named Chile Crea Textil (Chile Creates Textile). Since then they have worked to affiliate representatives of various textile creation and design modalities, establish a link to the academic world, share knowledge and information, and coordinate the participation of Chilean textile artists in biennial competitions, fairs, and international encounters.

Manuela Tromben: Works made with horse hair, silver, vegetable fibers, and yarn.

Carolina Morales. Necklaces. Linen/rayon mix, with closures made of ceramic, and silver.

Little by little, the work started by Chile Crea Textil has proved to be fruitful. One of the last presentations of Chilean textile art arranged by the Organization was at the “Encounter of the IberoAmerican Textile Network: Textile Creation, Sustainable Tradition, and Responsible Innovation,” which took place in September, 2010 in San José, Costa Rica. For that exhibit, the selection of Chilean textile works and contemporary jewelry by eleven artists and twelve contemporary textile jewelry designers, was amply recognized by its originality and high artistic level.

At the time of applying to the Costa Rican Encounter, Chile Crea Textil proposed a theme to be followed by Chilean artists wishing to participate: The earthquake that shook the country in 2010, and the concept of reconstruction, thus naming the exhibit Reconstruir-se (re-construct ourselves). Urged to ponder about the theme in question, the artists resorted to great creativity to develop their own distinctive work, which was marked by the identity of living in a land where movements from within the earth are commonplace, yet having been afflicted by one of the most intense earthquakes ever registered.

Contact CCT:

Montserrat Lira: Necklaces woven with thermoplastic material.

Angélica Delgado & Eduardo Sepúlveda, Necklace. Fabric coiling, thread, metal.


From the same exposition is one of the wall pieces:

Constancia Urrutia: "Gestures"

—Silvia Piza-Tandlich, translation


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