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Under Crystal Skin

Inspired by the body and the emotions hidden from the public for the sake of recognised "social normality" and the ways of accepting oneself. A borderline personality disorder is a mental health disorder that impacts the way human thinks and feels about themselves and others. It causes problems in everyday life functioning. It includes self-damage issues, difficulty managing emotions and behaviour, and a pattern of unstable relationships. Through embroidery and textile, I reveal my own self-therapeutic experience of coping with the episodes of BPD, experimenting with self-portraits, photography, cyanotype printing, fibre and textile manipulations. I introduce the techniques of BPD psychotherapy based on the dialectic approach, realised through textile and accessories design, to raise the importance of being aware of the mental diversity of humans.
a fragment of silk cyanotype

Like a bit of glass spreads light into many shades - the mind and sense spread our impressions about an individual, considering possible psychological particularities, which many try to hide due to the fear of public stigmatisation.


Some perceive life as a dual phenomenon: black and white, true or false - as if binary code directs them. But living is full of shades collated to errors and achievements, experience and trauma. The latter may subconsciously influence many aspects of life until we accept them, “recycle” and outlive them, to leave their dust in the “backyard” of our public image.

cyanotyped mesh embroidered

My BPD has been painfully devastating till I formed a way of altering "affective hurricanes" - investing them into the creation.

a piece of TPU tape over an embroidered piece

During the recent episodes (as self-therapy), I mailed to nowhere, telling about my disturbia, took self-portraits, focused on fibre manipulation and fabric cyanotypes. All these activities eased my emotional pain and anxiety.

hand-embroidered letter is on the piece of fabric
an assembled purse-envelope
folded envelope-purse

I put my sensitiveness into the envelope, “sealing” it between the transparent “walls”.

a closeup of a portrait sealed between the mesh and TPU film

One wall is “mute” as an image displayed to the public on a digital screen; another - is sore like burned skin, stitched to the true “essence”. Together, both sides make a translucent “casket” through which the insiders read my alter ego.

closeup of hand-embroidered carre scarf cyanotype
a captured process of hand-stitching of cyanotype scarf
silk carre scarf is hanging on the hand

“Envelope” is a physical and thinking exercise in many aspects. It is diffusion and expansion, acceptance, observation and the analysis of various contexts of present and past of my "Self".

a piece of cyanotype fabric trim embroidered

Embroidery, textile, analogue processes of printing and digital photography, psychotherapy (self-therapy) are united in one by an artistic expression which is an act of Art by itself. It is the art of self-acceptance (of the main principles of post-traumatic disorder therapy is acceptance and commitment therapy) and the act of supporting others through the creation of the symbolic matter.

the process of making silk flower
the process of making silk flower

That brings the point where visual aesthetics materialised in a piece meet the unseen - the psychological and philosophical matter, which breathes a certain sense and life to the object and sustains the humanity in each of us.

silk flower with embroidered petals
You may look through the whole portfolio here