How Italian Men Embroider

Actually I mean a particular Italian man, Alighiero Boetti, whose exhibition I saw at Tate Modern last week.  His method was not to do it himself but to get many (who knows how many) Afghan women to make huge embroideries of his drawings and designs, e.g. of maps of the world or the names of the world’s longest rivers. This was in the 70’s, in more peaceful days.  It seems such a fantastic yet macho and grandiose way of operating, so far from my Little Women small-scale hand stitched work.  The issue of scale and how to achieve it completely on one’s own is often on my mind.  You have to have such confidence in your own project to get others involved in realising your vision.  Boetti’s way of making art is utterly infuriating to me, and yet admirable – he got things done.