Placenta is the Tornen les Esquelles contribuition in Aurèlia Muñoz exhibition Taller Aeri, curated by einaidea at Grau-Garriga Contemporary Center Textile Art, St. Cugat, September 2023.

The concepts of fiber, circularity, rituality and interspecies collaboration—expanding the relationship intrinsic to herd-shepherd-ecosystem—ignite einaidea's invitation to Tornen les Esquelles to participate in the project Aurèlia Muñoz. Taller Aeri. Their process begins with a residency at Casa Aymat Espai de Creació throughout the spring 2023, which is developed as a collaborative work, both intimate and open, and takes the evocative title of Placenta.

Involving co-creators Ana Vivero, Martina Manyà, Daniela Duarte, Florencia Toro, Mire Garcia and Esther Clusas, and the contributions of Solange Dalannais, Ina Olabarria, Pan Wei Ju, Monica Kopatschek, Ana López Serrano, Remei Areny-Joval, Marta Collell, Mar Saiz, Marta Balaguer, Marcos Martinez, Eva Sarmiento, Monica Moreno and Enric Gaspar, the process emanates into a series of felt objects and tapestries, as well as a shepherd's smock made of recovered wool from local sheep based in Collserola. This allows a new exploration which gives continuity to work carried out in 2022, together with eina obra, in this ecological context. Placenta is presented on 19 September as part of the public programme of Aurèlia Muñoz. Aerial atelier, opening the project to a public exploration and debate.

The intervention of Tornen les Esquelles brings the primitive process of of wool felting—and its movements of pressing, pressure, but also dressing, protection and transformation— into dialogue with Aurèlia Muñoz's interest in the ancestral arts of the Upper Paleolithic. Coexisting procedurally and physically with the artist's work, the project allows to address the material dimension of fabric—collaboratively produced and coloured with plant-based dyes—as an alive, interspecies one, as well as a vehicle for collective, ritual and ecofeminist processes. This symbolically dialogues with the also-interspecies cosmology present in the work of Aurèlia Muñoz, and highlights the materiality, not only textile, that forms it: from the manual dyeing of its vegetable, animal and synthetic fibers, to the pressing and artisanal production of paper, and the use of stones and other found materials. It also highlights the social dimension of wool, giving visibility to the work of shepherds and generating public felting activities, which allow us to address performatively the recovery and recycling of local wool.

Text originally published as part of the Placenta exhibition, in Aurèlia Muñoz Taller Aeri, curated by einaidea.

Between the exhibition pieces are two tapestries“Maranya” and “Camí”, felted collectively with the participation of Sant Cugat community in educational/ performative actions in open studio days at Casa Aymat, Sant Cugat.

Otherpiece is the Shepherd’s Cape, inspired in traditional grazing capes, also made collectively, to be used by José Montoya, shepherd that works in Collserola region for over 30 years, as a way to give visibility to the precarious situation of their herd and grazing area.

And finally, the Ritual Stone of Collserola, a felt replica of this ancient megalithic monument located in Collserola, made in two visits to the actual stone, in order to cover it in wool and felt it inperformative actions that created our own kind of ritual of connection with the territory.

Photos: Alexandre Bre.