Exploring How Anaïs Beaulieu Uses Embroidery To Protect Threatened Species
A number of artists across the globe have been using different mediums to create awareness of climate crisis and the challenges it poses to people, communities and plant and animal species.
For French artist Anaïs Beaulieu, it was embroidery on plastic bags, typically used for collecting waste, as she tried to connect with local communities and explore their practices.
Through craft, Beaulieu taught the women of these communities who are at the receiving end of the crisis to illustrate the world around them, one stitch at a time.
Embroidery remains the Montreuil native’s “way of expression”. “It helps me to digest what I perceive as difficult around me.”
Beaulieu learned embroidery from her grandmother – a practice women in her family learned through generations. “Embroidery is not a painting or drawing. It is supposed to be a craft.”
Things changed nine years ago when the French artist took a trip to West Africa’s Burkina Faso and saw a field choked with plastic bags in a village.
She again took up embroidery. “Piercing [these plastic bags] with a needle always brings a little tension because the plastic can tear at any time,” she added.
She soon met Gita Wolf from Tara Publishing in Chennai. It allowed her to come to India for the first time in 2018 with support from the French Institute.
They worked on a book, ‘A Stitch Out of Time’, which plays with two powerful themes – environmental degradation and the slow time of creation, according to the publisher.
Beaulieu then joined hands with Sanjana Sarkar from Alliance Française in Jaipur for the ongoing Threatened Species Threatened Spaces project.
The travelling project includes panel discussions, art exhibitions and workshops in a few places in India. It started in August when it came to the country.