Pál Berta Atelier is an anthropological and artistic endeavour of CinéTrans.
As a visual anthropologist with a background in Hungarian ethnography and traditional crafts of peasantry in Transylvania, I create circular craftwork much similar to how Transylvanian self-sufficient peasants have done in the past. You can have a glimpse of these processes in the Pál Berta film under the text.
Pál Berta was a Hungarian woman born at the beginning of the 20th century in a tiny village in Transylvania. She was the daughter of a great farmer, who established the homestead I live in now with my family. When we moved into this farm, the linen towel, handwoven and hand embroidered by Pál Berta was still hanging next to the washbasin. Her towel, embellished with her initials, handwoven in 1938 is the towel I use now daily. After 80 years it is still becoming finer after each use.
Transylvanian women of the past created their dowry, from flax seed to linen fabric, from sheep wool to woollen fabric. They wore the finest clothes, made with much care, eye for detail, all unique and elegant, perfect in their handmade imperfection. Fabric was their empowerment, a way of carving out a respectable place in the family and in the society. Transylvanian women were respectful to nature through their ways of creating fabric, as they engaged in processes which were circular from the beginning to the end.
The Pál Berta Atelier project seeks to provide workshops to those wishing to learn creating circular, unique and beautiful fabrics by spinning, dyeing, weaving, knitting. The project also seeks providing these fabrics to those who value circularity, sustainability, uniqueness and beauty in their everyday lives.
We attempt to walk in the footsteps of Transylvanian women of the past, and carry their traditions into the present and future. We use natural wool and linen fibers, coloured with organic plants, all gathered by hand from the uniquely rich and biodiverse pastures and gardens of our Transylvania.
Transylvanian women at Pál Berta –