desenhos para coser sem agulha by Rosana Ricalde at the College of Arts of the University of Coimbra

Drawing inspiration from the Greek mythological figure Penelope, Rosana Ricalde embarks on a broad interpretation of the act of weaving, finding, among mythological gestures marred by their seeming banality, the meanings of an ancestral activity that somehow unifies time.

If Penelope took on the mission of weaving a shroud for Laertes, Ulysses’ father, as a time-control device, doing it during the day and undoing it at night, to gain time (that infinite expression), many have been the weavers who, in an apparently less instrumentalised manner, dedicate their time to this craft, as an occupation, in a dilettante escaping gesture. These genuine drawings and, inescapably, communicational instruments are traces of the silencing of the female voice in the polis: “confined to the house, she was left with the thread and the spinning wheel (…)”[1]. They also recall a time, a knowledge and even a geographical place of a kind of production that has been lost, bordering on the concept of kitsch, but which in this exhibition acquires the rank of an artistic object, brought suddenly into the field of contemporary art by Rosana Ricalde’s collecting, interventionist and prolific gesture.

This tripartite action by the artist has two reasons: on the one hand, to collect lace, embroidery, labyrinths and cross-stitches – echoing records of thousands of movements -, on the other hand, there is a visible involvement in continuing these drawings, this time without a needle, pursuing a temporal clash, allowed by this coming to life.

The kinetic field on the surface of these textiles forms, by itself, a choreography of mechanical actions, far detached from the industrial sphere. As if each body producing one of these works had been a gesture factory and, with that gesture, comes everything that has already been said in this piece, or nearly everything: where it comes from, who makes it and to what time it belongs. A form of encrypted communication, ever more distant.

Rosana Ricalde uses these made-up spellings, a drawing taking into consideration their distance from the spectator, using them to provide a new direction to these lines, once sewn with needles. Between more or less symmetrical moments, the search for a solution to these ancient objects is reflected in a representative flow of their possibilities.

Rosana Ricalde’s exhibition desenhos para coser sem agulha can be visited until September 14, at Quarto 22 of the College of Arts of the University of Coimbra, from Monday to Friday, 2 pm to 6 pm.


[1] Exhibition text by Rosana Ricalde

Daniel Madeira (Coimbra, 1992) has a degree in Artistic Studies from the Faculty of Arts of the University of Coimbra and a Master's in Curatorial Studies from the Colégio das Artes at the same university. Between 2018 and 2021, he coordinated the Exhibition Space and the Educational Project of the Águeda Arts Center. Currently, he collaborates with the Círculo de Artes Plásticas de Coimbra (CAPC).

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