The past re-stitched

Towards the end of the Spanish Civil War, the Chilean poet and communist Pablo Neruda organised a boat to enable endangered by the political to the right in Spain to find exile in Chile. Among the refugees in the Winnipeg was Madrid artist Roser Bru. She became actively involved in the Allende period and was commissioned to produce a large textile work for the UNCTAD building, constructed in 1971 for the Third United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

The work was lost after the coup which saw Pinochet come to power. However, it has been recently discovered by an art collector Eduardo Artino, who has paid for its restoration. In the photo above you see the artist (in her 90s), with restorers Paola Moreno and Anna-Maria Rojas.

It was an historic moment as the artist could look on her work after 36 years, and see it being carefully restored to its original condition. Here’s a very concrete form of reconciliation, using the strong craft skills surviving in Chile to repair the link with a past that was so violently torn apart.

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