Revelations

Empowered by heritage

By Semne Cusute Association

AIEVEA collection; Transylvania traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant (2018) by Maria DumitruSemne Cusute Association

AIEVEA means "for real" in Romanian

"Aievea" project is the result of the partnership between Semne Cusute Association and The National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, The ASTRA National Museum Complex, The Transylvanian Museum of Ethnography, and "Anton Badea" Museum of Ethnography.

AIEVEA collection; Muntenia traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant (2018) by Mirela CretuSemne Cusute Association

inspired by heritage 

Museums not only revealed their most fragile treasures, but they also embarked on this quest. A curator from ASTRA Museum Complex recreated a shirt from The Museum of the Romanian Peasant heritage.

AIEVEA collection; Muntenia traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant (2018) by Florentina AdetuSemne Cusute Association

daring for more

Passionate embroiderers were invited to join this quest based on their previous work; some even embarked voluntarily. They were challenged with 19th century textile fragments from museums heritage. This exhibit offers a glimpse of what they accomplished.

AIEVEA collection; Transylvania traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant (2018) by Alina PanaiteSemne Cusute Association

return to the essence

"I wished for it - the challenge to go beyond artistry, and to prove myself, and to get to the essence of the shirt as a way to understand the women of 19th century. Hemp fabric was love at first sight! Everything fell in place once I started to work with it." Alina

AIEVEA collection; Transylvania traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant (2018) by Marioara Constantin PalagicaSemne Cusute Association

To complete their shirts, embroiderers had to begin with thorough documentation, then choose appropriate materials, and in the end reveal the spirit of the ethnographic region.

AIEVEA collection; Bukovina traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant (2018) by Antoanela IordacheSemne Cusute Association

"It's as if I enter a new dimension each time I embroider; as if my ancestors are there for me, to guide me, to show me the right way." Antoanela

AIEVEA collection; Bukovina traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant (2018) by Antoanela IordacheSemne Cusute Association

"I sew my shirts with love; I always embroider with good thoughts." Antoanela

AIEVEA collection; Oltenia traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant (2018) by Stela MoldovanuSemne Cusute Association

"To me, Aievea was a way of going back to roots; I wanted to contribute to revealing and preserving our traditional shirts." Stela

AIEVEA collection; Muntenia traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant (2018) by Cristina LariiSemne Cusute Association

"I made this shirt with my grandmothers in mind, as they didn't get to wear Romanian shirts, but endured famine, and deportations. To honor them, I will go on and embroider many more." Cristina

AIEVEA collection; Muntenia traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant (2018) by Maria VisanSemne Cusute Association

capture the spirit

"Every shirt mirrors the Woman, because she feels it long before making it, and thus, her feelings are conveyed to her creation. It's like writing a poem with your needle." Maria

AIEVEA collection; Muntenia traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Daniela Voinea, 2018, From the collection of: Semne Cusute Association
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AIEVEA collection; Transylvania traditional shirt; based on artefact of the Transilvania Ethnographic Museum, Marioara Constantin Palagica, 2018, From the collection of: Semne Cusute Association
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AIEVEA collection; Transylvania traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Maria Dumitru, 2018, From the collection of: Semne Cusute Association
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AIEVEA collection; Muntenia traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Carolina Birzaianu, 2018, From the collection of: Semne Cusute Association
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AIEVEA collection; Muntenia traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Cristina Larii, 2018, From the collection of: Semne Cusute Association
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AIEVEA collection; Muntenia traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Gabriela Matei, 2018, From the collection of: Semne Cusute Association
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"My shirt reveals purity and innocence, the inception of later shirts, just as still fresh memory of childhood holidays at my granny do - old roads, hills, forest, vineyards, and plum trees."
Gabriela

AIEVEA collection; Romania traditional shirts; based on artefacts of the National Museum of the Romanian Perasant, and ASTRA Museum (2018)Semne Cusute Association

AIEVEA collection; Moldavia traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant (2018) by Irina AgachiSemne Cusute Association

bold choices

"Choosing the right motifs to complete the fragment that inspired my shirt was the biggest challenge, but not the only one." Irina

AIEVEA collection; Moldavia traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant (2018) by Irina AgachiSemne Cusute Association

"Balancing the extremes of textiles and threads I used for my shirt was a difficult task. Our great-grandmothers must have been very eager to show off their boldness." Irina

AIEVEA collection; Bukovina traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Manuela Mujdei, 2018, From the collection of: Semne Cusute Association
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AIEVEA collection; Muntenia traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Carmen Florea, 2018, From the collection of: Semne Cusute Association
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AIEVEA collection; Transylvania traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant (2018) by Alexandrina VasileSemne Cusute Association

AIEVEA collection; Muntenia traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Irina Serpol, 2018, From the collection of: Semne Cusute Association
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AIEVEA collection; Bukovina traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Sorina Andreescu, 2018, From the collection of: Semne Cusute Association
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AIEVEA collection; Banat traditional shirt; based on artefact of the ASTRA Museum, Maria Visan, 2018, From the collection of: Semne Cusute Association
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AIEVEA collection; Oltenia traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant (2018) by Parascovia LepadatuSemne Cusute Association

"I feel I understood my mission; in the future globalised world, when our descendants will search their roots, they'll find these signs on my shirt, and they'll understand their meaning." Parascovia

AIEVEA collection; Muntenia traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant (2018) by Stefania AtanasiuSemne Cusute Association

seek new paths

"Through the shirt I created, I wished to build a bridge between the old ways, and the new times." Stefania

AIEVEA collection; Oltenia traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant (2018) by Nadia MinzuSemne Cusute Association

"We live times of doing all at extreme speed, yet we feel we're always behind.This shirt offered me the luxury of slowing the pace." Nadia

AIEVEA collection; Oltenia traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant (2018) by Nadia MinzuSemne Cusute Association

"I savored the present at slow speed, revealing an ethos while making this shirt. I feel as if I embroidered the past that mirrors a future without me, yet possible because of me." Nadia

AIEVEA collection; Muntenia traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant (2018) by Cristina LariiSemne Cusute Association

"It's so fascinating to see what I can create  with a needle and thread on a piece of textile! History can be written with the signs I embroidered, passing on the energy for the future." Cristina

AIEVEA collection; Transylvania traditional shirt; based on artefact of the ASTRA Museum, Ioana Corduneanu, 2018, From the collection of: Semne Cusute Association
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AIEVEA collection; Muntenia traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant (2018) by Raluca JurcovanSemne Cusute Association

"The artifact was part of a beautiful shirt, mirroring a woman's skills and her soul; my shirt now mirrors my soul. A fabulous heritage was left to our care, and it's our duty to pass it on." Raluca

AIEVEA collection; Oltenia traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant (2018) by Nicoleta Olteanu GranceaSemne Cusute Association

"I signed up for this project when I finished the embroidery classes at the Association; I wanted to bring to the Present a fragile fragment of the Past, so it could get to the Future." Nicoleta

AIEVEA collection; Banat traditional shirt; based on artefact of the ASTRA Museum (2018) by Maria VisanSemne Cusute Association

rejoice hands artistry

By far the richest project of the Semne Cusute Association, AIEVEA is not only important in the number of shirts created, but mostly in regaining of traditional materials, design, and techniques. However, no stone was left unturned while while creating these shirts, no compromise was allowed in their evaluation.

AIEVEA collection; Transylvania traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant (2018) by Daniela IvuSemne Cusute Association

The skills achieved to finish the projects exceeded all expectations.

AIEVEA collection; Bukovina traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant (2018) by Sorina AndreescuSemne Cusute Association

Some have learned sewing techniques the old way, from their mothers and grandmothers, others learned by themselves, while some were former students of Semne Cusute Association's embroidery classes. 

AIEVEA collection; Muntenia traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Irina Serpol, 2018, From the collection of: Semne Cusute Association
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AIEVEA collection; Transylvania traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Maria Dumitru, 2018, From the collection of: Semne Cusute Association
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AIEVEA collection; Crisana traditional shirt; based on artefact of the ASTRA Museum (2018) by Alina PanaiteSemne Cusute Association

"I wanted to encourage others to dare. Even though some things may seem impossible to achieve, they become real (aievea) once you make the first step." Alina

AIEVEA collection; Banat traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Diana Ciobanu, 2018, From the collection of: Semne Cusute Association
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AIEVEA collection; Muntenia traditional shirt; based on artefact of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Irina Serpol, 2018, From the collection of: Semne Cusute Association
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AIEVEA collection; Romania traditional shirts; based on artefacts of the National Museum of the Romanian Perasant, and ASTRA Museum (2018)Semne Cusute Association

Credits: Story

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Mihaela Contiu
Raluca Savulescu

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Raluca Savulescu

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