As the idiom goes, the apron is a connection with the mother, this Other whose uncertain desire has brought us to the world. The apron is, also a surface that demands us to take the mother’s position, the position of the feeder and nurturer. The position where we become, a loving gaze for others. Present or forgotten, hated or beloved, women’s relationship to the apron holds some information of our being in the world.
A surface of obedience, an embodiment of maternal nurturing, a layer of protection, an investment of matriarchal authority, a sign of domestic slavery, or an annoying and forgotten piece of clothing, The Apron bears the ‘stuff’, the marks of what its being ‘cooked’ in the ‘kitchen’; something of how women position themselves in relationship with the notion of ‘woman’ they grew up with.
For me, The Apron is an uncertain, liminal surface that mediates between what I want and what I imagine, the women that brought me up want from me. As such, The Apron is a layer of conflict where something of the identity is at stake: the girl, the daughter, the lover, the wife, the mother, the artist. Thinking, sewing, knitting, embroidering; cooking, reading, ironing, washing, drawing; those activities I was taught to be loved for, The Apron is the result of a dialogue with women about women. An exploration of the subjects that have timelessly concern and still concern women: love, desire and jouissance.
The Apron was conceived as an ongoing dialogue with other women, some of whom left their stitch and ideas in the piece. I would like to propose an ‘interactive’ exhibition of the artwork: under the question ‘What ‘surface’ the apron is in your life?’ The viewer will be invited to stitch, to draw, to embroider etc. a new fragment into the present piece.
Tamara Dellutri was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1977. Following her husband’s academic career, she emigrated to the USA in 1999. While learning English and working as a cleaner and child minder, she started her first informal course in Illustration at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts of Boston. She later moved to the UK and continued her studies in Wales, at Swansea Metropolitan University. During the course of her degree, Tamara had two girls who were breastfed, entertained, and educated in the corridors, studios, canteen and library of the university. Tamara lives in Swansea with her husband and her daughters, and she has recently been awarded a first class degree in Illustration.
Tamara’s work is concern with subjectivity, particularly from a psychoanalytical perspective. Following the questions of origin, identity and journey Tamara’s work concerns the struggle of the human subject, her pain and joy of relating to others. An analysand herself, in the process of reconstructing her personal story, Tamara has recently turned her interest to the field of textile arts. Brought up by traditional women, in a still significantly patriarchal society, practices such as cooking, sewing, knitting and embroidering were part of the fantasy of how to become a ‘good girl’.
Tamara’s latest work, The Apron, is the result of an exploration of the symbolic meaning of this protective garment, and of how women’s existent or absent relationship with this piece of clothing might be a testimony of the conflicts and challenges that women face today in the search of empowerment.