Cecilia Vicuña

Quipu Womb (The Story of the Red Thread, Athens)

2017

Not on display

Artist
Cecilia Vicuña born 1948
Medium
Wool, dye, rope and thread
Dimensions
Overall display dimensions variable
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased with funds provided by Latin American Acquisitions Committee 2021
Reference
T15921

Display caption

Vicuña calls Quipu Womb a ‘poem in space.’ Over 50 large strands of unspun wool, dyed red, flow down from a metal ring high above our heads. Each cord has different knots spaced rhythmically along its length. The work references menstrual blood as well as the energies, flows and cycles of nature. Vicuña draws from Indigenous weaving practices, ritual, and environmental activism. Many of these works include explorations of the quipu. This is an ancient system of knotting rope used by Inca and Andean cultures, thought to be an alternative to written language. The artist says this ‘must have been a female invention.’

Gallery label, February 2022

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