Untitled (public parts) ~ Woven by Luiza Porto
Luiza writes: "I am quite new to weaving, I have been doing it for less than a year. I started on textiles with embroidery, trying to give texture to my drawings, and since the beginning I worked with cotton thread on linen. I always try to work with natural materials, and avoid synthetic. So when I decided to try weaving, it was only natural for me to use linen yarn. Although everything I read about using linen as a warp told me not to do it, because of the lack of stretch and how it would easily wear out the yarn throughout the project. And it was very hard to find references of weaving with linen on rigid heddle loom. So every part of the project was an experiment!"
See more details below the photos.
"I did small samples before on my frame loom, but decided to just go for it and make bigger pieces. I knew I wanted each piece to be at least 40 x 40 cm mounted. Since my pieces are focused on the opening in the middle, I always thought of it as one side, then mirrored whatever I did. To make the process easier, since I never actually learned the terms and the math behind weaving, I drew a little diagram of how I wanted to warp the loom. It was something like this:
The most important thing was that the two middle threads had to be in adjacent holes (the mirror effect I wanted), so I could open the slit in the middle. I used a 60/10 heddle but warped skipping every other slot/hole. Then I had approximately 3 ends per centimetre and the warp was 42cm wide and 120cm in length. I used a 3-ply cream wetspun linen for the warp, which gave me the perfect tension and strength I needed for the project.
My work has always revolved around the female body, and in this series I wanted to portray the stages involved in overcoming abuse. The first piece, Untitled (public parts) #1, depicts a virginal state. So I went for a plain weave, with as little flaws and texture as possible, only showing a carefully open slit in the middle. The second piece, Untitled (public parts) # 2, shows the physical and emotional damage that comes with an abuse. I tried to show the torn flesh, so I opened the slit asymmetrically and worked around it creating texture by "floating" the thread over one or more ends. I am now working on the last three pieces of the series, which will show the process of healing and the scars that remain after.
The idea is to have the pieces mounted on floating frames and hung in a wall with light coming in more or less 30º from the top. So the texture will be accentuated and more present. "