Inspired by the cross-cultural exchanges between 16th century spice trade routes and the exchange of materials recorded in tapestries of the age; Monica’s art is richly interwoven with history, culture and tradition.
Presenting a journey through her own colourful perceptions to their conflicting realities via the conservative and seldom seen craft of weaving in her native Argentina, to the vibrant spirit and simplicity of spice sellers in Morocco, texture, essence and earthliness all feature strongly in Monica’s work.
“I am from Cordoba in Argentina, which is a very multi-cultural city where you are surrounded by painting and colours, yet it is also very conservative. I used to live very near to the Bolivian border, so I would travel from an early age and be interested in these mixed cultures.”
Using organic tones, colours and spices, Monica draws focus not just on the sustainability of her chosen materials themselves but also their supplanting by synthetic alternatives, a by-product of mankind’s increasing thirst for urban sprawl, commercialisation, and expectant desire for low-cost fast fashion.
Furthering her research practice through an AUB study grant, Monica chose to develop her research into female empowerment and weaving in North Africa, but instead began exploring a tragic cultural shift occurring in Moroccan villages where ancient traditions fade, dilute and perish at the mercy of “easier, brighter and cheaper” modern production elsewhere.
“I arrived with the intention of finding garment and fabric weavers and travelled through mountains and villages trying to find ‘an idea’ of what I thought these people would be, but those that I did find were men who were interested in selling their knowledge and products, so I ended up holding workshops with local women in order to teach them skills that I had learned at AUB.”