The Refugee I (2018.10)

Catalogue Record

Collection

Maker

Title

The Refugee I

Made in

Richmond

Date

2015

Description

Weaved culptural body piece. The work reflects the body form of one being wrapped in a thick cloth.When worn, the face of the wearer would be seen from the narrow gap on the front.

The work was shown as part of Form + Motion, an exhibition presented by the British Council and the Crafts Council, at the UK Pavilion at the 10th Cheongju Craft Biennale in 2017.

Materials and techniques

Paper rush, patterned fabric and bamboo thread used.

Techniques of weaving and twining (2 active and 1 passive weaving elements) was applied in the making.

40 pieces of 300cm long paper rush and 100cm by 3cm patterned fabrics were cut by the maker. All strips were tided together into a big knot and the untided elements on the other end were weaved. A structure was formed when all sides joined up together. The top of the structure was curved. Extra paper rush were woven into the structure to fill the gaps left from the first stage of weaving. The end of the paper rush was knotted with bamboo threads.

Dimensions

height:  80cm
width:  44cm
depth:  42cm

Object number

2018.10

Category

On view

  • The Refugee I, Esna Su, 2015. Crafts Council Collection: 2018.10. Photo: Stokes Image Ltd.

  • The Refugee I, Esna Su, 2015. Crafts Council Collection: 2018.10. Photo: Stokes Image Ltd.

  • The Refugee I, Esna Su, 2015. Crafts Council Collection: 2018.10. Photo: Stokes Image Ltd.

  • The Refugee I, Esna Su, 2015. Crafts Council Collection: 2018.10. Photo: Stokes Image Ltd.

Maker's statement

This is one of [the] 5 pieces for my graduate collection 2015. It is one of the piece[s] that challenged all collection due to its form, structure as well as use of materials. The way it is structured and the way paper rush has [sic] disappeared on the back was completely different approach to my other designs.

The Refugee I collection is constructed and twined mainly with paper rush, representing the need for protection and expressing the isolation of refugees in their newly adopted homes. The works almost cover the wearer to give a warm, therapeutic feeling.

The technique was inspired from Syrian Carpet called in Arabic “hasir”. It involves constant weaving and adding layers in order to give curves and shift paper rush, representing the need for protection and expressing the isolation of refugees in their newly adopted homes.

This craftsmanship was not used anymore in north of Syria as many places [were] ruined by the war so I wanted to give a live to technique again by embracing isolated Syrian refugees. By giving deep sense to what was once used as a carpet then transformed into sculptural body pieces. The pieces became a nest to give a homely feeling for isolated Syrian refugees in sprawling refugee camps.

My work became a long journey from traditional making craft to contemporary body pieces. It was completed with a great passion, constant work and the expression of my life’s meaning.

Esna Su, 06 April 2018