Calligraphy, mark making and printmaking

Camila Estrin Henriksen


What I do

I am currently in the search of my own visual language through exploring possible relations between calligraphy, mark making and textile traditions like embroidery. I am also interested in the intertextuality that arises from combining materials from different traditions. Therefore I have worked with projects that combine crafts, such as a three-dimensional calligraphy wall-sculpture in wood, embroidery on paper and knitting with unconventional materials.



A possible approach to the project would be exploring mark making by using elements found on site. One possibility would be to use calligraphy, mark making and printmaking techniques such as gyotaku as visual document. Collecting all the impressions received and creating a kind of journal.


Thoughts about

Calligraphy, one of the disciplines I practice, has a deep connection with mark making. The latter gives me associations of marks and scars that we carry with us. I am thinking now of refugees situation in Lesbos. Being in transit, leaving everything behind marks us deeply. I also think about the previous marks, the marks of the different events of life. Which marks do we choose to keep? Loosing our whole environment, being new and unknown in a new place… are we still ourselves when nobody knows us? Given the prospect of losing both our collective and individual identities, is it possible that we attach to some marks as a strategy for keeping our history alive? This also reminds me of a work of the Argentine artist Mirta Kupferminc. In “The skin of the memory” she makes a differentiation between the marks made for aesthetic purposes and the ones made with the intention to dehumanize: the participant arrives at the installation where a tattoo artist arbitrarily chooses to give him/her either a tribal design or a number like the one assigned to prisoners in concentration camps.

Coming back to Lesbos as a place of transit, I think of the refugees arriving there. They are already scarred and marked from having had to flee their home countries, but there are still new and important challenges for them to face. Families may be divided and their members may be sent to different countries where they not only have to learn a new language and understand a foreign culture, but their education is also likely to be worthless, so that they have to start anew and perhaps accept jobs they never would have considered back home. This is a situation where loss of identity is a big part of the whole process.






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