A body of work, which seems at first sight independent, yet in content closely related to the stories, of travels and odysseys like the one of Homer‘s Ulysses, is the so-called mappa mundi. Continents connected with each other over the oceans stand for big universal themes: at the same time the mapped spaces are similar to an abstract system of signs. They bespeak countries and places of longing for people whose own world has become increasingly inhospitable and dangerous, and who long to begin a new and better life.
Kessler purposely utilizes female handcraft techniques in her cotton gauze embroidered continents, a work of 14-pieces, the mappa mundi. Kessler’s installation both recalls the sails of the ship and of the women who stayed behind in the home, often for years left not knowing their husbands’ fates, like Penelope Ulysses’ wife of Homer’s epic, who during the night would undo the crafted work she produced by day. Thus freeing herself from the fate of having to marry one of her suitors. Far and wide versus near and home are not opposites, but stand in close relationship to each other.
Museum Kunst der Westküste, Alkersum, Föhr 2018, DE
Cotton gauze, thread, thin iron rods