‘The World is a Handkerchief’ is a travelling exhibition rooted in the Spanish saying ‘el mundo es un pañuelo’, which translates into English as ‘this is such a small world’. The project traces serendipitous encounters, moments of discovering personal connections in distant places or unexpected contexts. This began with the encounter between Claudia DeMonte and Cecilia Mandrile as mentor and student respectively at the University of Maryland, the United States, 25 years ago, and has expanded throughout an international collaborative network of mentors, students and peers. To celebrate this sustained creative dialogue, in 2018 they decided to develop a portable exhibition of 50 handkerchiefs that explores the meaning of belonging and interconnectedness so tangibly brought about by this Spanish expression.
To reconstruct this alternative family composed of artists and collectives from different latitudes and generations over the last two decades.
The growing handkerchief collection that has emerged from this project has been launched at the London Print Studio Gallery in May 2019 and it was recently exhibited at the Blackburn 20|20 Gallery, Elizabeth foundation for the Arts in New York during November 2020.