1. Woven Narratives from Anatolia
Designer & Performer: Dila Demir
Photography by: Kadri Tiganik
Dila & Mathilda are a woven textile duo; Dila is a Turkish weaver based in Tallinn, Estonia and Mathilda is a 10-shaft Swedish weaving loom. Together they explore the unspoken stories from Anatolia bringing the narratives from ancient cultures into everyday contemporary interiors through woven rugs.
Early traces of weaving have been found in Anatolia in the prehistoric settlement, Çatalhöyük (çatal: fork, höyük: tumulus). Weaving spindles and needles were found from the archeological excavations which show us the long-lasting history of the artof weaving in human life. As one can create textiles for various use by weaving, rug weaving was one of the most essential practices in Anatolia.
Rugs of Anatolia consists of countless distinctive motifs which are more than mere ornaments. These symbolic motifs reflect the cultural, social, and religious mechanisms, they reveal the life of the society with its mythological dimensions.The motifs in Anatolian rugs also became a means of non-verbal communication reflecting abstract, unspeakable emotions and thoughts. They say that the ones who know the language of the rugs may read rugs as a story told by the weavers.
‘Hand’ motif constitutes various meanings: it symbolizes the hand of the creator: thus, echoes with divine creation. It provides protection and refers to worship.
‘Evil Eye’, the eye can transfer good intentions as well as the bad. They called the bad intentions as the evil eye that cause damage, and they believe that the eye itself can be used as a protection.
Mother goddess had a crucial role especially in the agrarian settlements as the women have a role in production and proliferation. Thus, the ‘hands-on waist’ motif symbolizes the mother goddess, fertility, and abundance.
Some says ‘serpent’ motif is a talisman against snakebite. It is also associated with the ‘tree of life’ as a guardian.