elise youssoufian
Textile Projects

Textile Projects

COMING SOON: Armenian Carpet-Weaving Works-in-Progress

Հայկական ասեղնագործ Ժանյակ ~ Armenian Needlelace: reclamations & reformations, 2019 onward

Armenian needlelace, Ժանյակ, has ancient roots. The interlacing and life-affirming patterns—also found on our medieval wood and stone carvings, and ceramic art—create a net of protection intended to beguile, entrap and confuse evil spirits and intentions. For me, cultural recovery takes listening, learning and practicing in community and in heartfelt solitude. Every knot is a dream and a prayer of health in the body, peace in the spirit and love in the heart—personally and collectively.

In response to the fall 2020 war in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), I made a series of rainbow-colored ornaments (see examples above) to support humanitarian aid for the Armenians of Artsakh who are enduring violent dispossession, blockades and destruction.

Heart Mirrors: journeys of making and (re)connecting, 2017-2019

The Heart Mirrors project was an emergence from the dreaming—an experiment in bringing forth diverse reflections of a more just and connected world. All materials were repurposed, most were non synthetic, and over 200 hearts were made and given to friends old and new. Journeys from the streets of Oakland and San Francisco to Chiapas, the Diné Nation, Chicago, New York, Turkey, and Հայաստան (Armenia) brought this project home.