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BFA+MFA Thesis 2024

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Image Transfer Experiment, Hand-made Paper, Blend of Cotton, Craft and Alpaca Thread

Valeria Mazzei

Skin to Skin: A Constellation of Ancestral Love

Graphic design

A forgotten photograph evokes a memory – the whispers of our ancestors linger in the quiet corners of our days. My thesis, “Skin to Skin”, explores how themes of memory, resilience, and vulnerability contribute to the development of our identity. The aim is to investigate the profound impact of matriarchal legacy, both challenging and celebrating the fact that women are expected to “do it all”. The project is inspired by my great-grandmother who, though a successful entrepreneur back in the 1920s, was still expected to do the laundry every day. 

My installation, a fabric-woven tapestry, is a constellation of memories delicately suspended by threads as a tribute to the matriarchal force as a pillar of our society. Family photographs (1800s-1900s) and portraits of my foremothers emerge from fibers and handcrafted paper. Hanging like laundry, the tapestry is the thread connecting women’s past and present: a testament to the resilience of womanhood.