Tablecloth Embroidery
Meeting around the tablecloth


Over a decade ago I found a vintage pattern for an embroidered tablecloth at a flea market in my birth city of Łódż, Poland. The pattern for the embroidery is screenprinted on linen, and has been partially filled in by some unknown stranger. The residents of the AIR Zusa program agreed to use this cloth as a starting point for the process of sharing and exploring our stories at a public event that was held as part of the residency in April 2024.

We drew on the traditional form of the tablecloth, the domestic and gendered associations of embroidery, and the unknown story of the cloth’s original owner to guide our conversation about identity, memory, place, and the things that are important to us now. 

Looking at tradition vs. what we choose to do and how we respond to and reinterpret these traditions.

Making safe exploratory spaces together, which are grounded in shared craftwork, conversation and exchange that could also bring people outside of the Zusa residency into the circle.

A week after the public event, the residents closed out our residency with a meal and meeting during which we also worked on the tablecloth. Our residency was focused on rest and mental health, and connection to the body, so doing this meditative group action together made sense, and led to some pretty interesting conversations.

April 24
ZUSA residency central in Lichtenberg, Berlin

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