Photo credit: Tim Connolly

Artist statement for Fellowship body of work 'Silk Cuts'

“The starting point for Silk Cuts was an astounding encounter at the National Museum in Beirut, where I sighted for the first time an example of what appeared to be Lebanese cross stitch embroidery. The preserved motifs in red and black were still visible on the dresses of the 13th century ‘Maronite Mummies’. In that moment the concealed threads that bind the present to the past started to reveal.”

 

Silk Cuts proposes that the disappearance of Lebanese cross stitch embroidery, a women led practice, is linked to the emergence and fall of French induced silk and silk cocoon production in Mount Lebanon in the mid 1800’s and its profound effect on women’s lives.

 

The Lebanese silk industry, serviced predominantly by women, impacted society and soil; its collapse contributed to the World War I Mount Lebanon Great Famine and mass migration - the recently colonised Australia becoming one of the destinations. 

 

Eddie Abd draws links between this defining epoch of modern Lebanese identity and her own present day self. Referencing embroidery motifs and garments from historical Greater Syria as well as creating her own motifs, she constructs self referential imagery while  calling attention to the historic and ongoing problematics of Orientalist representation in mass visual media.