Page 37 - SMCK Magazine #4
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  vidual threads of the fabric to form pre-drawn open spaces within the design. Most of these were pristine white.
In our house, nothing went to waste. When we had fabric remnants, Yaya collected them, tore them in strips, tied the ends together, and hand-bound a multi-colored type of rug called kourelou, found in the homes of many refu- gee families at that time. On occasion, when she could get golden threads, she also embroidered the traditional chrysokentima, which, with its rich textural look, reminis- cent of Byzantine ecclesiastical vestments, was a joy for the eyes.
I had the privilege of being the first person in my family to ever return to Peramos while on a Fulbright Award to Istanbul. Although nothing remains of the town since it was burned down, going there was a life-changing expe- rience. That visit partially inspired the latest series of my mixed media works; by using thousands of bobby pins and occasionally strands of synthetic hair reminiscent of the silk threads which which the Greeks of Asia Minor worked, I reference richly patterned textiles while also commenting on beauty.
The visit to my grandmother’s hometown also inspired a recently completed fiction book titled The Amalgam (as yet unpublished).
„Kentima #2“ - Embroidery. Bobby pins, synthetic hair. Photo: G. Staley.
Maria Karametou:
“My most recent work series addres- ses the relationship between gender and identity, beauty, time, and family history. By repurposing mass-produ- ced materials commonly associated with women, such as bobby pins and strands of hair, a powerful sig- nifier of identity throughout history, and using them like needles and threads, I “stitch” together intricate designs and patterns that often bring to mind embroideries and weavings.“
„Hairloom“. Hand braided and hand stitched synthetic hair. Photo: G. Staley.

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