KRAKOW, 17 APRIL 2020
We are at home with Medusa, although we would prefer to be in the woods now. I have stay at my apartment, in Krakow, Poland for one month now. I am allowed to leave my place to go to the shop, pharmacy or for a walk with my dog. I try to use that possibility to move a bit around, just for my mental and physical health, but in the same time avoiding people. I miss my friends. We only meet on Skype. But I stay at home with my two kids, 18 and 11 years old. We play cards and cook together. We also spend a lot of time at our balcony. It’s not that bad. What worries me the most is that our government is using Coronavirus to repress citizens, cutting forests and introducing laws which violate democracy and human rights, including women’s rights (legal abortion). We can’t go on streets now. They know that very well.
Lawyers in Poland indicate that we are dealing with a hybrid emergency: the authorities enjoy many additional powers, but they do not take on the restrictions that the constitution and the relevant laws provide for it.
Another thing is that the leading Right-wing party with its leader Kaczyński is seeking to force through the presidential election on the 10th of May, despite a ban on campaigning due to the health crisis.
Crocheting Medusa or Lady Monster from the Forest is an ideal job for the time of quarantine. Lady Monster has 8 tentacles, each several meters long. It comes from the dark areas of the subconsciousness that arouse drug and disgust, it is the personification of repressed desires and drives, subdued in a woman by culture. And fear of her is also fear of the creative power of women. For now, I called her Medusa, because when we look and tame her, it turns out to be part of us and she is beautiful. The work is created for the jubilee exhibition at Centralne Muzeum Włókiennictwa in Łódź, curated by Marta Kowalewska. The exhibition was supposed to open in May, but because of COVID-19 we are hoping to see it in autumn…
Initially I was planning to work on that with other women but due to the pandemic we are not allowed to meet. So, I am home, with yarn and my hook. I have started recording the process, every two days, few minutes. I also regular take photo, which depict how Medusa grows. Already put it on my Instagram and Facebook account.
For Medusa I am using rough sheep wool form Polish mountains, natural hemp and linen thread. Some of them are dyed with natural pigments according to old recipes, but some stay with its natural colours.
Crocheting is like meditation; it helps to calm down and let your thoughts vanish. It keeps you busy with mechanical and repetitive movements. When I do crochet, I enter to another world, it’s like my own universe. Weaving and crocheting can be seen as an existential metaphor. You can’t negate the rhythm imposed by this work technique.
Time unit is very visible in textile. Materialization of the concept of time is possible due to that. This pandemic time will always be enclosed in this work.
To discover the work of Malgorzata, visit her page: www.malgorzatamarkiewicz.com.