Martha Jimenez, the longing of my mother

From memory comes the image of her mother, reclining on the old sewing machine, at the end of the long corridor that ran through the old house. From the incessant pedaling, the balling of the most colorful threads and stringing needles, which in their back and forth, in the backlight, made the most brilliant costumes, were first born in two dimensions and then embodied in three-dimensionality, works of an intense poetic tradition.

Martha Jimenez gives us -beyond her monumental work that populates public spaces such as the Plaza del Carmen in her native Camaguey-, these miniatures of exquisite filigree in the baked and lacquered clay, where the cult of sewing as an intangible tradition and identity expression, since 2008, she has revealed a little-known edge of her artistic creation.

The longing of my mother has entitled this series inspired by the pilgrim dream of her mother -unfulfilled by the hazards of fate- and materialized in the round trips to distant points of the planet that the daughter-artist has been able to realize.

As a kind of Ariadna thread, the images are interwoven and unraveling in the author's imagination: "I did not think that the sewing machine, an everyday element in the Cuban home and especially in Camaguey, was such an important object in society, and the family".

Jimenez evokes with "a certain nostalgia the sewing machine that people feel disused and that now yields to its prominence because it is not by pedal but electric". However, for her the "traditional machine is reborn as a sculpture with a deep emotional and spiritual charge".

She also wanted to pay homage to the universal woman and to the woman from Camaguey, especially, through the stories that through the doors and windows flooded the city with the seamstresses as the axis of the family and economic support.

The allegory of the machine and its gadgets will soon transcend into a sort of giant ball into the urban environment ... and will fly through streets and squares of Camaguey, the allusions to a world of immaterial traditions and a heritage where handicrafts validate the beauty of everything that the human being is capable of doing with his own hands.

Jimenez, who lived from childhood immersed in that universe of cutting and sewing, relives in each piece the maternal smells, much more now when the woman of longing -her mother- has left to always return as a winged angel.

Author: Magda Resik Aguirre
Source: Excelencias Magazine
Published in Excelencias Turisticas, Cuba, Number 15.