SELF-PORTRAITS: Quest and Refute The weaver Artemis Alcalay
"…The passage from painting, sculpture and set design to weaving is just the natural evolution of her engagement with fabric.

Now she creates from the beginning. Production of the work starts with the woolen threads that she dyes with natural colours-the creation ritual embraces the rhythms of nature-and uses them to build her work strand by strand.

She perceives every limitation imposed by the loom as a challenge and works to extend these limits, refuting the weaving tradition in terms of both style and theme.

This time she weaves an ingenious trip to a reality at once contemporary and historical, personal and collective, rational and emotional, in which the four major themes of family, art, religion and homeland converge and commune…

In this series of works entitled “weavings” Artemis Alcalay continues her long voyage in search of identity."

-Anna Enepekides

Article in Design NOW, 2008 (in Greek)

"…Through the weaver’s art Artemis Alcalay has resource to one of the most ancient achievements of human civilization,which certainly occurs in the Bible.

…Many of her archetypal motifs are brought back, linking the older works with the more recent ones…New motifs have been added,associations with the folk art of the Middle East (Islamic, Jewish)…

…The Greek letters woven into her pieces convey a decodified message with particular detachment, awakening associations with the Kabbala and the mysticism of letters…"

-Dr. Johannes Wachten
- Jewish Museum of Frankfurt


"….Her works pay homage to the Greek weaving tradition while at the same time re-shaping the concept of woven cloth with new themes, placing it in a contemporary context…"

-Kanellos Kanellopoulos
-Director, Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation

Artemis Alcalay again seeks today the mystical life of him who prays, better: the internal life. Weaving small shawls of prayer, Taleths, typically jewish as of the conception and typically greek as of the execution: cotton, linen and wool, white (natural white not dyed) sacred blue sky and sea here and there, a hint of earthy brown and a stripe of the blood’s red, handmade, with the initials of the owners, greek archaic motifs with folk motifs, boats that sail at the archipelago.

The Taleth that Alcalay alters is humble but internal, so intimate that it rises into a symbol of ecumenical power. The prayer, the personal conversation with the divine, transmitted like a fine incense through the works of hands, a dedication to the everyday person through an art that steps silently through the threshold of a constant whisper amongst people and civilization.

-Nikos Xydakis
-Art critic

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