Cultural diversity and collective memories


Embroidered Memories is an interdisciplinary project on the theme of collective memory and migration, identity, and cultural diversity. Now more relevant than ever given the current migration issues across the globe. The project’s artwork will be exhibited for the very first time at the Museum of Art and Industry “LA PISCINE” in Roubaix, France, from On October 23, 2015, through January 2016.

Embroidered Memories sends a message of tolerance and hope for possible alliances between collective memories. It shows the importance of cultural diversity, through the choice of up-cycled materials from different origins and interventions on these objects while respecting tradition. Team members include Tal Waldman (Talva design) designer and artist behind the project. Jennyfer Moret, embroiderer; Romain Maldague, restorer of antique furniture; Hubert Kerléo, cabinetmaker; Philippe Moreau ,upholsterer; Pascal Frisa- cabinetmaker; Alain Nimsgern, upholsterer, Christine Bruckner, ceramist; Thomas Bremond,  photographer and Anne-Sophie Pellerin, journalist.

Since we first appeared in HAND/EYE and our successful crowdfunding, we have reached completion of the collaborative production of these five artworks that express the different states of immigrant life: travel, memory, economic difficulties, maintaining integrity while adapting, the dissimilarities between the homeland and the adoptive land.

Identity in interrogation—one of the central pieces in the exhibit— is a protean art object, a storage object, and an anamorphic mirror. The chimeric animal that inhabits the mirror questions the identity of the immigrant: can one remain oneself while adapting to external constraints? Designed for the entrance of a house, this piece questions the origins; the place of the immigrant, his uncertain identity is embodied by the deforming mirror and re-composed animal head. The Napoleon III mirror was restored and turned into a silver anamorphic mirror. The head is in faience, dressed in embroidery and the horns are attached to the wood composition.

The process, defined as “directed chance” uses recycled materials with a fluid and evolving process, which is enhanced by the collaborative work environment. Embroidery from my home region, and elements of French traditional furniture, my country of adoption, were fused creating a dialogue between different heritages, France, and the Middle East.

The work involved a delicate balance between up-cycling and new elements. As the last two pieces were being finalized, I felt the need to document the human dimension of this unique production model and thus a series of photographs and texts have been associated with the project.

Thomas Bremond’s photographs capture working gestures of the team thereby highlighting its human dimension and documenting the creative process. Together with the journalist Anne-Sophie Pellerin, we recorded a series of interviews with the team, which form the basis for a seven-minute soundtrack and written texts about the model of collective circular production.