18 September 2023–3 November 2023

Memory is the Seamstress

Curated by Murtaza Vali

Green Art Gallery

Green Art Gallery is pleased to present Memory is the Seamstress, a group exhibition curated by Murtaza Vali.

Starts 18 September 2023

Ends 3 November 2023

Venue Green Art Gallery

Warehouse 28


The exhibitions features works by Hangama Amiri, Cian Dayrit, Melissa Joseph, Lebohang Kganye, Jagdeep Raina and Raed Yassin.

“Memory is the seamstress, and a capricious one at that. Memory runs her needle in and out, up and down, hither and thither. We know not what comes next, or what follows after.”

In this famous sentence from her 1928 novel Orlando: A Biography, Virginia Woolf proposed textile work as a metaphor for the unpredictable processes of memory, its ability to suture together the disparate fragments of daily life into a narrative fabric that can feel both connected and disjointed. This equation between memory and textile is further complicated by and through the medium of photography, which has profoundly transformed our relationship to memory, making it easier for us to record experiences for posterity while simultaneously weakening our natural faculty to remember. Showcasing the diversity within textile arts, this exhibition brings together artists using a variety of techniques—from applique and felting to hand and machine embroidery, each approach bringing not just different material but also imagistic possibilities—to translate the photographic into fabric work. Mixing the personal with the political, it juxtaposes artists who draw on the family photo album to unpack experiences of displacement and loss, with those who excavate personal and collective archives to interrogate colonial and postcolonial histories of violence and oppression. Countering the instantaneity of photographic capture, and the amnesia it paradoxically enables, the gradual accumulative labor of textile work reintroduces the complex and unpredictable textures of memory, creating room for imagination and play, for affect and critique, softening the sharp contours of an indexical record into a collage, an impression, an annotation, an image, “and a capricious one at that.”