“My great grandmother was a weaver. She used to cultivate, to spin linen threads, to dress the loom and then to weave for crafting sheet towels or fabrics to be used every day. I still have worn out rags and incredibly fresh linen sheets which are over 100 years old. The fascinating irregularities of hand-spun threads and the narrative of hand weaving is mesmeric. Those antique and textured fabrics keep on teaching and telling me about the wisdom of her hands.
Hand weaving seems an extreme analog practice nowadays but it could be considered a contemporary media language in some respects. Warp and weft are like a binary system that offers many possibilities of coding, mixing materials and techniques. Weaving is also a way to explore visual art and communicate”.
The Flag series is a homage to the archaic nature of Abruzzo with its wide and still wild spaces. These Flags are like banner of those lands whose nature is harsh but at the same time fragile. Flags are mainly made of wool, the soft, warm and generous material used by shepherds to protect themselves from the cold temperatures of prairies. Flags hand woven works are crafted by using mainly Abruzzo-sourced organic wool from grazing sheep in the Campo Imperatore, an area at over 2000 metres of altitude.
This tapestry is part of the Gleaning project, a series of weavings inspired by Agnes Varda's documentary Les glaneurs et la glaneuse. These hand woven works are indeed the result of a "gleaning" process. By using remnants of warps and other weavings, small quantities of found or donated yarns, Susanna Costantini creates weavings where materials and stories intertwine. The variations in the weaving are the traces of an emotional elaboration process in which multiple narratives take shape, small stories from the past are interwoven with the present and the lived experience during weaving. “The activity of gleaning is something necessary that we practice every day and has to do with recovering both material and emotional value. The practice of gleaning brings with it a moment of choice; one evaluates, decides whether to let go, recover or process.”
OPUS VOpus V is a handwoven tapestry part of a series inspired by the
ancient construction techniques of the stone huts, ancient rural
shelters of shepherds in central Italy in which stones were
carefully chosen and carefully superimposed without the use of
bonding material. Opus V has been woven mainly by using natural
sheep wool from sheep grazed in Abruzzo, cotton for the warp, hemp
and linen for geometric insert in the weft.