My name is Elena Adamou and I am a visual artist. Over the years I have used different mediums to express my thoughts through art such as painting, video, installations, and textile techniques like embroidery. I am interested in understanding how intimate time-passing can relate to the memory of a place or an object and how this perception of time varies depending on our origin. Textile culture has been very present in my family and I grew up learning to appreciate it.
I am trying to bring this passion of mine for textiles to dialogue with the contemporaneity of our times where unfortunately the fashion and textile industry have become very polluting and therefore harmful to life on this planet.
Living with the pandemic
When the Covid-19 sanitary emergency began back in February 2020, our everyday-life started changing unimaginably, I had decided to leave my permanent job and work as a freelancer. That was a strange choice to make in difficult times though it felt necessary. The first period of the pandemic was very productive despite the difficulties in keeping in touch with material providers. Being creative in any way cures the soul. That kind of attention to ourselves was fundamental for us to help us cope with the extreme conditions we found ourselves in. I started producing the Nuvola series of pouches. Inspired by little clouds (nuvole in Italian), the collection consisted of small quilted bags, made of sample fabrics and waste batting that I quilted at home. All colorful and puffy, they were made to bring lightness and warmth.
New creatives incentives:
Until the end of May 2020, while I was still an employee at the Academy, I was in contact with some professors and colleagues for the arrangements of the online classes. New ways needed to be explored for the practical lessons by distance. There was an extra focus on the materials one could find at home for dyeing, printing, weaving, and knitting because many others weren’t accessible. In this way, the creative process gained a more open-minded approach. The students embraced techniques like natural dyeing, upcycling, and recycling. When you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation you need to think of different ways to react. I believe that after this experience everybody started to appreciate better the value of objects and the privilege of having a choice. All art fields, applied and performative arts included, are still passing through hard times due to this emergency. We should continue being creative and supporting the art system because all activities that permit us to express ourselves, help us to keep the mind sane.
Before the pandemic, sustainability was one of the main subjects of discussion all over the world, in all sectors and production industries. An emergency like the coronavirus brought other necessities on the table and of course the use of disposable protective masks, gloves, and other medical products, which were essential for our medical care burdens the whole environmental problem. When we will, fortunately, get back on track, and slowly make this disease part of our lives, we should focus again on ways to react to the ongoing pollution.
It is of great means to encourage people to shop from vintage shops, second-hand shops, think to mend a garment before throwing it away or find a way to upcycle it. An important not-for-profit global movement that started back in 2013 is Fashion Revolution. Fashion Revolution has teams in more than 100 countries and they do an amazing job of informing and educating people on how the fashion industry works. In Cyprus, the members of the Μοτίβω (MOTIVO) team are lovers of nature and very active members of Fashion Revolution Cyprus. Motivw has sustainable fabric stores in Nicosia, organizes tree-plantings, clothes swaps, and talks on sustainability! Now that I have moved back to Cyprus, I support and buy my fabrics from Motivw. The will to continue gathering dead-stock material and make something useful out of it is somehow now even stronger.