By Antonia Barreau Daly (GEN Member since 2012)
Several months have passed and despite the difficulties that COVID has imposed on us, together with Patricia we have been able to make some progress on our project. Also recently, Patricia´s father, the lonko (chief) of the Mapuche community who was taken care of by her, passed away, which evidently changed her life, but also allowed her to put a lot of energy in her passion: her wool, loom and natural dyes.
During summer, we have been cleaning and organizing her working space, buying equipment needed and projecting her dreams in this creative and educational space for Mapuche textile culture. In addition, we have been working on a new logo for Pati´s workshop. Thanks to Pilar Izarzugaza, a graphic designer, Patricia´s work has a new brand image that will be displayed on labels, social networks, teaching material, among others.
We are very excited, as in early April, the first short textile residency will take place. We invited Marcela Serrano, a textile artist specialized in natural dyes from Rari (Chile), who chose to dedicate her life to the revitalization of natural plant-based dyes from her territory, to come to expand Pati´s knowledge and enrich hers.
Marcela first learned about natural dyes through a Mapuche machi (traditional healer) in Santa Cruz, then took a short course in Valdivia and finally, seeking deeper knowledge and a more agroecological approach, she went to study in Spain at the School of Fibers and Natural Dyes. This last experience pushed Marcela to create Correvuela, her textile laboratory where she not only creates incredible textile pieces, but also teaches different dyeing techniques to other artisans and students (check her out on Instagram @correvuela_laboratoriotextil). We are looking forward to her visit with open hearts and minds, a time that will undoubtedly allow knowledge to generously flow and nurture both artists.
We hope to send another update showing the results of the first textile residency.
Above and feature image: Marcela dyeing cotton fabric with plants using different techniques and materials (Photos by Claudia Gonzalez)
Antonia Barreau Daly joined the Global Environments Summer Academy (GESA) in 2012. She then went on to co-organise GEN’s first regional academy in Latin America, 1a Academia Latinoamericana de Liderazgo Socio-ambiental (ALLSA), held in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic, 13–22 November 2015 and also the second regional academy in Latin America in Cuzco, Peru (14 -25 September 2019), the Latin American School for Food Systems Resilience 2019 (ALLSA 2019). With two other GEN members, Antonia is supporting Taller Witral, a working and teaching space built by Patricia Ayelef, an expert weaver, knitter and natural dyer of wool.