Back to Programme

Poems Made of Softness

A series of six contemporary aprons.

All week at Veem | Floor 3 | Strijp-S

Athena re-appropriates the half-apron and turns it from a garment with female oppression connotations into a garment full of female empowerment potential. Each apron functions as a textile, visual poem that represents contemporary female problems. What does it mean being a woman in current society?

The apron; A simple, utilitarian, yet powerful garment with a weighted history. Being with us since 2500BC, it has accompanied women throughout most of their history; It has been close to their bodies, hugging them tight around their waists. It has been there to protect them from dirt, or to present them in a certain way to the world. The apron has symbolized both oppression and empowerment over the years.
In a society where women still haven’t gained equality and still struggle with gender-related problems, I give aprons voices to speak of our contemporary female realities. What does it mean being a woman in present society? Inspired by a discussion night with women aging from twenty to fifty-years-old, I created this apron series of visual poetry, where each apron answers a part of this question.
Textiles have historically and traditionally been a medium for women to express themselves by practicing their creativity, but have also been used to protest and fight for their rights, similarly to fashion. By using textiles in the form of aprons, I acknowledge this history and pay homage to it by proudly continuing it.

As featured in

Athena Gronti

Athena Gronti is an Athens-born / Rotterdam-based artist with a strong focus on female empowerment and women’s politics. Her style is poetic, intentionally leaving the viewer space for personal interpretation. She pushes boundaries and builds bridges between tradition and nowness, being especially fascinated by the emotional and cultural value of handicraft and textiles.
She graduated from the “Lifestyle & Design” department of Willem de Kooning Academy in July 2018.