Asemic writing: TEXERE


Miriam Midley is a textile artist with a respectable list of exhibitions in her native country of Argentina as well as Brazil, an online exhibition (The Volta-Women of the Visual Art, Coldfront Magazine-Vispo), and she is currently in UTSANGA: A collective asemic writing show at Roccelletta di Borgia’s Parco Archeologico Scolacium, Italy from December 2nd, 2016 to May 2nd, 2017.


UTSANGA Asemic Writing Exhibition | 57 autori in mostra a Roccelletta di Borgia | Dal 2 dicembre 2016 al 2 maggio 2017

texereMiriam’s work concept derives from the Latin word, TEXERE: A weave we use to construct history. Thus, with each turn over, the weaver constructs her own history and her own culture. Also, it is noted that words materialize in the writing being woven, over and over, to transform ideas into a system of communication.

The piece was made with paper and ink, and measures 145 X 115 cm divide into modules of 22 X 28 cm each, mounted on a wooden frame.


texere-detalle-1Each module is woven and has its own writing, which Miriam has named, “Calligraphic Gestures“. Her writing has no semantic sense, nor does it belong to any particular language.


texere-detalle-4Texere follows the idea of joining weaving with writing in order to make us delve into the Memory of our tongue.


Contact: miriam 











Some artworks have the power to provoke and seduce at the same time, making us doubt our correctedness in “liking” something that represents a shocking reality. That is the case of Argentine artist, Alicia Chamot, whose artistic techniques create a visual blotter and enhancer in the face of a project dedicated to repudiate gender violence in all its manifestations.



invitacion5_resized“Memory of the Missing” (“Memoria de las que faltan”) is a powerful show presented by Alicia in Buenos Aires. She started it as a project in 2012 with “Gender Violence / Aggravated by Relationship,” which was exhibited at the National Visual Arts Salon in Buenos Aires the same year.

Convinced that art is the most powerful weapon against behavior bestiality, Alicia has followed up with a principal panel and various smaller works. The show was open to the public last week at the Casa de la Cultura in Quilmes, Buenos Aires province. For the main panel, she asked the community for photographs of faces of women, whose participation represented their rejection to all types of violence. The piece has 192 photographs in reddish hues, sewn over spheres, together with empty black modules representing missing women.

Most participants are smiling. Their faces seem like fragments of a multitude of “we the women of all times, anywhere.” The piece is a commemoration of those who are missing, and at the same time represents a celebration of life. Therefore, Alicia presents life and death while protesting gender violence.imagen-196

TelarAcha® is Alicia’s own technique, which combines regular weaving, with simultaneous volume weaving while still on the loom. The piece in exhibition displays burned sections depicting death by fire, which happened to several Argentine women some time ago.

alicia-chamot-4                                                            The panel measures 8 X 10 feet (2.5 X 3 meters), and includes weaving, moulding, sublimination, burn, and embroidery.

alicia-chamot-1alicia-chamot-2Contact: aliciachamot <>








National Crafts Competition 2016, Argentina

The richness and cultural diversity of each region in Latin America, are represented by its crafts.

Argentina is a highly textile country, where an incredible array of techniques are present in an equally incredible array of competitions and shows. Ranging from vegetable to animal fiber creation, you can see categories such as traditional Mapuche indigenous weaving, horse mount blankets, belting, leather textiles, textile jewelry and accessories, felt toys, felt garments, basketry, contemporary paper creation, and more.

The National Fund for the Arts in Buenos Aires, is a governmental entity that holds an annual competition of craft cuture at a national level: Concurso Nacional de Artesanías FNA 2016, which will open to the public on September 1st, with four textile categories: traditional crafts; rescue; neo-crafts: Contemporary expression; and textile projection.

 Susana Larrambebere. Shawl. Hand dyed, hand felted Merino over gauze, with applications.

Susana Larrambebere. Shawl. Hand dyed, hand felted Merino over gauze, with applications.


Susana Larrambebere. Shawl (detail). Hand dyed, hand felted Merino over gauze, with applications.

Susana Larrambebere. Shawl (detail). Hand dyed, hand felted Merino over gauze, with applications.









Textile artist Susana Larrambebere from Buenos Aires, has won 2nd Prize in Felt Garments, within the Contemporary Textiles category. 

Her shawl was felted with exquisite Merino wool from Patagonia, over gauze with natural silk applications. It was dyed with purple and gold onions, walnut and acid aniline.

To see more of Susana’s creation, visit her site “El Cuarto De Las Lanitas”:     or her page on Facebook:




“C” is for color and cordiality in Kuna lands

It troubles me a great deal to know that these islands (and many other similar islands and lowlands), are being threatened by the increasing water levels of the oceans. At this rate, pretty soon these Indigenous cultures will have to be absorbed by the mainland, which is bound to be a cultural disaster.
With a lot of pleasure (and a bit of envy!), may I share my translation of an Argentine colleague’s article about her visit to the famous mola territory. Marta Arancio is a textile artist living in the very textile province of Salta, Argentina. Here are her impressions after a three-day trip to San Blas Islands in Panama. Hope you like this article as much as I do. 
—Silvia Piza-Tandlich


A short visit to San Blas Archipelago, Panama

For over 27 years I anxiously awaited a chance to visit this peculiar area in Panama: The KUNA YALA territory. A small plane had the thirty minute task of taking me along with four other passengers, from Panama City’s Gelabert de Albrook airport, to El Porvenir Island in the San Blas Archipelago on the Atlantic side of Panama.

My friend Laurie, with know-how, admiration and contagious passion for the textile work of the Kuna women, booked my itinerary and talked to contacts in San Blas.

Lodging hall at San Blas Archipelago.

Laurie’s kindness  allowed me to be met by Eric at the El Porvenir Island airport, taking me by cayuco (a type of kayak) all the way to Nalunega Island where, at last!, within a few minutes I was surrounded by several women, all anxious to receive those packages of fabric quarters gifted by Laurie for their usual attire.

Laurie’s kindness allowed me to be met by Eric at the El Porvenir Island airport.

Thus, being surrounded by women was to become the norm for the next three unforgettable days. If these look like female islands it is due to the men leaving to work outside—in the campo—in order to bring food and money home. Women stay home cooking, doing laundry, caring for children, and dedicating a great part of the day to their traditional trade: mola stitching, which is mostly a social endeavor.

The great bohío huts are always clean, with clothes and hammocks hanging, showing only cooking utensils on the floor, a few toys, the stove… 

Typical sewing basket.

Some baskets for threads, needles, scissors, fabric remnants and some mola in progress are also visible inside dwellings.


The mola is a precious rectangle intended to become part of a blouse, in which case two identical molas are used—using the same design and color scheme, one in front and one in back. The blouse is made with gauze-like, flowery fabrics. The attire is complete with a wraparound skirt, and a kerchief to protect their head from the sun. At this point I must describe the multi-color group of elements presented as a characteristic unit, each element with its own function and with amazing profusion of color.

The mola, handmade piece which is fundamental for the blouse, could gather no less than five or six colors simultaneously, reverse-appliquéd in successive layers that are articulated thanks to careful assemblage, meticulous hand sewing, and care from the point of view of chosen design. The motifs could be geometrical (generally ancestral, whose meanings escaped me in such a short time although they’re frequently used); animals and flowers; and motifs having to do with contemporary references such as logos, numbers, cigarette brands, or any image they pick up during their exchange with tourists.

“Atlas beer” reads the legend on this mola (and “beer” is misspelled)

The flowery fabrics complementing blouses, could match prevailing mola colors much like complementary hues. Cotton wraparounds are usually two-toned—black or blue background—with green or yellow motifs. And the head scarf is red or yellow.

Woman showing leg Winis design.

The attire is completed with winis, which are glass beaded ornaments on feet and arms, with two or three colors and in many cases, showing frets or linked geometric designs.

Smiling woman offering mola for sale.

Young women’s almost permanent smiles were a stark difference from the gruffness of older women during the time it took to study me since like so many curious visitors, I wouldn’t want only what was being offered for sale, but seemed to always be observing them.

They exchanged comments, opinions, smiles, maybe criticism…all is possible when one doesn’t understand or speak their Kunan-Chibché language few visitors could learn. Some sort of complicity or naughtiness shows in their faces and leaves us at their expense: they’re owners of their land, culture and language, which allows them to be cordial and invite us to their table.

Noni fruit has medicinal and cosmetic properties.

 The first day with Eric we went to another island where fruit trees could be seen, which are strong in Kuna diet and health care—such as noni fruit.

Meal at San Blas Archipelago.

Although fish is a strong element in Kuna diet, I was offered plantain, yuca (cassava) or mandioca (tapioca), and a small and powerful grilled pepper. Before and after this small banquet we visited their homes under the ardent sun, and got to see their prolific mola production. Today I can share their faces, feet, works, smiles, games, and a “private mola exhibit” thanks to their cordiality, and despite a certain mistrust…in the sand in front of the sea.

 I sincerely thank Laurie Bjorjlund Lahey for connecting me to the people of San Blas, and allowing my dream to become a reality.

Marta en route to San Blas.

—Marta Irene Arancio, textile artist & ceramist, Argentina

Phone: +54 387 4395274


Kuna woman photographed by Marta Arancio.


The San Blas Islands of Panama is an archipelago comprising approximately 378 islands and cays, of which only 49 are inhabited. They lay off the north coast of the Isthmus, east of the Panama Canal. Home to the Kuna Indians, they are a part of the comarca Kuna Yala along the Caribbean coast of Panama.
The inhabitants used to wear few clothes and decorated their bodies with colorful designs. When encouraged to wear clothes by the missionaries, they followed their body painting designs in their Molas, which they wore as clothing.
The Kuna Indians worship a god named Erragon. They believe that this god came and died just for the Kuna people. The Kuna Indians were driven off Panama during the Spanish invasion and they fled in their boats to the 378 islands around. The chief of all the islands lives on an island called Acuadup, which means rock island. The Kuna are hunters and fishers, they are a very clean people and on some of the islands have opportunities to attend school. Most of the men now speak Spanish, though the women carry on older traditions.
—Silvia Piza-Tandlich
Arancio article

Feminist weaves in Brazilian and Argentine contemporary art: Rosana Paulino and Claudia Contreras

I translated a fantastic article, which was first published in a French magazine in Portuguese—the renown Artelogie.  

I translated into English and Spanish since I think the entire world should be aware of the torture imposed upon African women slaves in Brazil, modern mistreatment of black women in many places, and in Argentina the feminist art expressions due to dictatorships, torture, and disappearances.

One thing the article doesn’t explain, is the scope of the punishment by having to wear the gag or Flanders tinplate mask:

Black woman wearing torture instrument, Flanders tinplate gag

Black woman wearing torture instrument, Flanders tinplate gag

it had a metal pin that actually went inside the woman’s mouth to press down on her tongue. Some female slaves died from metal poisoning…

—Silvia Piza-Tandlich


Textile Art at The Raggio

raggio_02Every year, the Argentine Center for Textile Arts (CAAT) in Buenos Aires, curates and sponsors a national competition, which is also presented at the Rómulo Raggio Museum.

I remember my excitement at being selected in 2008, thanks to the help of friends who paid my entry fee in local currency. As a foreign participant, this was the only way to be considered in this prestigious competition.

fundacion-romulo-raggioThe museum is a stately jewel—elegance indoors, and fragrant beauty on the outside, where its Foundation holds artistic activities on a monthly basis.

This year’s exhibit was open to the public for most of November. We hope to see photographs of the entire selection of works, which represents the latest edition of contemporary textiles in Argentina.

invitación Raggio 2014

This year’s First Prize National Salon for Textile Art 2014 went to Claudia Contreras for her”National Bank for Genetic Data”. 2010. Acrylic paint over cotton, gold thread, silk embellishments, perforated, hand embroidered, framed.

Claudia Contreras "National Bank for Genetic Data".

Claudia Contreras. “National Bank for Genetic Data”.

For information about the artist, you may refer to her Website as well as her interview in magazine:

Claudia Contreras. "National Bank for Genetic Data". detail

Claudia Contreras. “National Bank for Genetic Data”. detail

It is also my pleasure to congratulate Dina Resca, whose work I have shown here in the past: Dina is the recipient of the Third Honorary Mention for her work, “Chrysalis II,” accompanied by its customary poetic referent.

Dina RescaChrysalis II

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACopy my hands in your eyes!

Your half-open mouth to the pen

In candid caress my caress.

Silently cure 

The horror of a motionless body

Turn and face life…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShow your moving curves

Like a bowl that holds

Like a nest being inhabited.

There you will place upon me, for you

Your back of longed-for sweet nothings.

Copy. Turn around

Pose for me

Be my insurgent.

That within my threads I sealed my crevices

Wrapping, and each one

With the tenderness of feeling you mine

Although in reality, you were not.

—Dina Resca

10168193_584343991698040_4831790343761317338_nIf you’re in Buenos Aires and would like to visit the Raggio Museum, you can contact

—Silvia Piza-Tandlich