Desedamas by Mireia Sala
If there’s anything better than growing up surrounded by paintings, I don’t know it.
Desedamas are Cecília and Mercè, women, sisters and respectively mother and aunt, about who’s writing these lines.
It’s hard to talk about them and the whole world that surrounds them without speaking of my own world, because I’m like a bad guest that never totally leaves.
I will go back, if I am allowed, to those flood-light days that remain immovable in my memory, where they both were painting on the porch of what had once been our house and now no longer is.
The music sounded quiet and a soft whisper of voices lowered to my room. As called by serenity, I climbed the spiral stairs that led to where they were both and I lay on the floor, just below the horizontal frame from which they tightened the silk. The smell of wood and dust was mixed with that of special silk paint, which smells sweet and fruity. They, on both sides of the frame, painted in total synchrony.
The paint went through the silk and expanded through the fabric, while the light penetrated the cloth and made the colors it captured vary their intensity. From time to time, some drop of paint that the silk didn’t manage to absorb fell down.
The wooden floor stained with thousand colors. This will be their mark for ever.
Maybe those were the moments that led me to be who I am. Added to all the trips throughout Spain, France, Portugal and Germany, where I was lucky to accompany them thanks to the fact they converted their passion into their profession.
They went everywhere, from fair to fair. There they understood the idiosyncrasy of the craftsmen, who spend so many hours in the workshop, in the solitude of those who work with their own hands, who then need to find themselves in community. Fairs
To me, beeing just fifteen, they opened my eyes to completely new worlds. And for them, they changed their lives. Forgive the indiscretion, but there they laughed, drank, possibly cried and surely, fell in love.
I keep with special remembrance those teenage summers that I spent at their side.
Now I have grown up, and I venture to say that them, as craftswomen, too. During those hot summers, even though I was the only teenager, somehow their experience as craftswomen was in full puberty too. And now that years have passed, their pieces are eventually adult, mature.
Thanks to the passion and the experience, they have reached an intimate, private, degree of knowledge of the silk. They have understood everything that surrounds the delicacy of the material and the learning has made them able to turn it into their means of expression.
With pride and admiration, I observe how they’re growing in the world of textile art, almost non-existent in our country.
And again, a change, the last one. They have turned their profession into an art.
Mireia Sala (Igualada, 1989)
Graphic designer and illustrator