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2024 Chasma, Beaconsfield, London


memory/loss (teaser), 3 min 

'memory/loss' is a performative knitted textile installation. "Building upon my recent practice using stitch & weave, memory/loss involves a large ceiling mounted knitted hanging balloon or teardrop, under which I perform a process of stitching myself to a series of threads and the balloon/tear itself. Stitch is a recognised method of dealing with grief, supporting meditation, and providing some jurisdiction over the uncontrollable. My grandfather, Alexei Shavrov died in a Soviet arctic gulag in the 1930’s - family memories re-emerging with the recent news of another Alexei. Shavrov’s portrait is knitted on the belly of the balloon/tear, only visible from the floor. My disorderly stitching in the performance reflects a concern about promised eutopias, whether French socialism, Soviet communism, Russian fascism or MAGA. Aviation (hence the balloon) is a continuing element in my practice, a ‘thread’ through which I explore the phenomenology of flight, from drones to aircraft, realised in cloth and carpet to mark the often-ignored role of women. I’m also continuing the revolutionary textiles tradition of the Soviet Avant-Garde women artists such as Lyubov Popova, Varvara Stepanova & Aleksadra Ekster." Varvara Keidan Shavrova

Installation - Beaconsfield

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