Resilience Through Reconnection
I explore my Palestinian heritage in textile works using digitally manipulated traditional motifs executed through hand-stitched embroidery, making physical my sense of dislocation. I deliberately incorporate dysfunctional and excess threads within regionally specific motifs in order to document what they once were and now are: functional threads that fill the empty spaces within both the cloth and my heritage.
This piece is about the person I was before the quarantine, a Palestinian who wasn’t entirely connected to her cultural identity. I was always afraid of expressing my identity and I didn’t understand it then, but as I grew older, I started to realize my family’s efforts to protect me. Eventually, we became stronger, grew out of the fear and my family started becoming more public with their Palestinian identity. So when I wanted to do the same, I looked into tatreez (Palestinian embroidery) and attended a beginner class for one day. When I learned about the history behind tatreez and started embroidering, I felt a deep connection, a connection I couldn’t have achieved unless I tried it myself. The connection made me eager to learn more, see the connection between certain Palestinian pieces in houses (such as the hidden motifs in my traditional tatreez dresses, patterns between my cultures, etc), and teach other people about my culture and Palestine itself.
About the Artist:
Born in the United States, Amnna Attia is a Toronto-based artist studying with the Contemporary Arts Department at Etobicoke School of the Arts. Attia explores her Arab-Palestinian heritage through digital art and embroidery. Her interest in her personal heritage sparked a passion for learning about other cultures, exploring their customs, and what makes them unique including styles of artistic expression. Attia is a curator with the Albright Knox Museum’s The Presence of Absence exhibition opening April 2021, and her work has been exhibited in group shows at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto, the Albright Knox Museum, in Buffalo, New York, the Art Gallery of Mississauga, as well as Neilson Park Creative Centre in Toronto, and the Annual Spring Juried Art Show with Arts Etobicoke, Etobicoke, Canada. Her work has also been published in Ultraviolet Magazine in Kingston, Canada, and the Growth Virtual Zine in Toronto, Canada.