Monika Cvitanovic Zaper explores materiality of textiles as a language to voice her thinking about knotty issues and to encourage the sensory experience of the viewer. She uses needlework to maintain a holistic practice of care for her lineage of women makers and their textile-based knowledge as well as care for the environment. By referencing the history of slow textile practices and working explicitly with reclaimed materials, she is also exploring the self-care potential of stitching and challenging the gendered hierarchy of art materials. After completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) in 2020, Monika started her PhD candidature at UNSW Art, Design & Architecture in 2022. She has been a finalist in RAS Young Artist Prize, Lethbridge 20000 Art Award, Jenny Birt Award (2019 & 2020), Emergent 2021, Art Edit Self-represented Artist Award, fortyfivedownstairs Emerging Artist Award (2022) and is the winner of the 2020 Tim Olsen Drawing Prize.
'Remediation VII', Turmeric, tea dye and thread on recycled shirt, 2022, 46 x 32 cm
'Remediations' are a product of practice preoccupied with the lost sense of connection between textile products and labour that went into their production. The discarded garments are 'remediated' by the processes of dyeing using kitchen ingredients followed by laborious cross stitching. The repetitive stitching process serves as a form of self-care regarding overwhelming concerns for waste coupled with recycling as a form of reparative action. Drawing from the intergenerational knowledge of slow textiles as practices in sustainability, such use of thread becomes a ritual that reclaims a sense of calm and slows down time.