Oana Juganaru: LAND OF ELEVATED HORIZONS

Traditional arts constitute a major part of any country’s richness, as they describe everything about the people, their ways of living, their beliefs. However, for an artist or designer it is a pretty difficult and risky job to approach such subject, to relate to it but yet to create something new, something fresh.

I have always had admiration for these arts and I was aware of how much work and soul people put in the creation. Of course that, studying in this field, textiles attracted me the most; they seemed to me the closest to the people, as they surrounded their bodies, their houses.

This whole project started about two years ago when I got a weaver from an older aunt of mine, but in fact the thoughts and the ideas that brought it to life date back from my first memories as a child. It required a lot of meditation and inner study to be able to find a way of approaching tradition. As the saying goes, it only takes a spark to get the fire going, and that for me was a piece of writing entitled “Spatiul mioritic” / “The miorithic space” by the Romanian philosopher Lucian Blaga. This book brings to light the beautiful connection between the Romanian people and the geographical space that they live in. People lived a life connected to the landscape: hills of trust and valleys of resignation, as Blaga said. After all the theoretical part was settled inside of me and after learning the basics of the practical part that is weaving, the rest came as a flow, allowing me to freely create both the weaved pieces and the draped pieces. The Romanian traditional costume is built in layers; I wanted to follow that idea in the sense that the first layer that touches the body is of light fabric and light colour, created using the draping technique, whereas the second layer comes to cover and protect, so wool fibers dominate.

The book represents a trip, something very similar to a diary. In the same manner, the order of the pieces also describe a trip through time and space. I tried to describe by weaving certain moments captured in time during the trip. Therefore, it all begins with you admiring this landscape, a sequence of hills and valleys, and deciding to reach a top of a hill. You are aware of the marvelous simplicity of nature that surrounds you as you walk towards the top, you enjoy the ride and you also know that from up there you will be able to see vast land lying before you. As you keep walking, you get closer to the hill, to the top, to the sky, closer to a place where you can be rather above the earthly way of living. Just like in a meditation, the landscape around you becomes something that you assimilate, and then, even with closed eyes, you are able to see all.

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Oana Juganaru: LAND OF ELEVATED HORIZONS

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