Warning! Beware of Dogs

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Tablecloth [Obrus]: A Series of Works

Tablecloths [Obrusy] have been embroidered. Employing the iconography of sign language, symbolism of prison tattoos, Morse code, the Braille alphabet, road, evacuation and warning signs, notice boards, iconographies of political systems, corporate logos, graphics representing social movements, the V sign, Georgian, Arabic and Afrikaans alphabets, line drawings of constellations. Each piece in the series deals with a different subject matter. Each tablecloth is a multicomponent essay, in which I am constructing a community of communication and experience. Originally, the Polish word 'obrus' referred to any cloth. The verb and gerund 'brusić/bruszenie' was the Old Polish 'wiping'; the 'obrus' came to be used to cover the table only in the late Middle Ages. In the tablecloth, texts, signs, images and communities clash.

The tablecloth is a meeting platform. It connects the cup, the plate, the guest's and the host's hands, bodies and thoughts. We're all living under the constellation, detached, and proximity is a threat. Language is tangled, sky-blue, with a knot tied on it. Letters are ornaments. Gestures are words. Logic, reason and proportions haven't made the grade. The tea is sour, the soup – salty, the cake – bitter. Hands on the tablecloth are joint and safe.

Warning! Beware of Dogs

The work title is derived from popular signs put up by some dog owners at the entrance to their houses. The signs speaks about relations between the owner and their dog. They do no speak about a relationship between two living persons: the human and the animal.
Signs on the textile have been made in Polish and Ukrainian. They refer to the threat / economic security resulting from the presence of migrants from Ukraine in Poland.
The symbolism of prison tattoos here employed, combined with the sign "Warning! Beware of Dogs", refers to danger caused by separation and isolation. The prison – a place of confinement, seclusion from society, for higher purposes of re-socialisation. We are afraid of the prisoner and the dangerous dog.
English, Thai, Georgian, Afrikaans and sign language have been used in the piece, approached not as carriers of content, but as ornaments. Sings of fencing – the warning tape and the chain – are symbols of separation with the purpose of isolation, which is supposed to produce a sense of safety. The dog and the human exhibit aggression, since their needs of love and proximity are not fulfilled.
Twisted tongues symbolise the inability of intellectual understanding, due to differences of culture, different experiences, language differences, etc.
The Canis Major (Great Dog) constellation at the centre of the textile alludes to astrology, to an arational cognition grounded in intuition and the power of the unconscious.

Warning! Bad Dog is one of the series of Tablecloth works.
see other works