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Open Seminar: Symbols and Meaning in the Embroidery of Epirus
Open Seminar: Symbols and Meaning in the Embroidery of Epirus
27.08.2015 19.00 h
Greek Centre Melbourne (Mezzanine) - Melbourne


Lecturer: Cheryl Simpson
Entry: FREE


Cheryl Simpson is currently completing a doctoral thesis in the department of Modern Greek at Flinders University. Her research is on the heritage meaning of embroidery collections held by Greek/Australian and Greek women. Her field research took her to Greece in 2012, where she spent some time in Epirus. The seminar this evening explores some of the relevant issues pertaining to the legacy of Epirus embroideries from the 19th century.

In the past all textiles produced were imbued with symbols and meanings easily identified by all members of the community. These same symbols and designs are often echoed in other arts and crafts such as architecture ceramics and jewellery. The long and turbulent history of Greece has left a visible legacy in its embroidery designs that have been influenced by Ottoman, Venetian, Genoese and Frankish rule.

Epirus, being under Ottoman power for longer than any other part of Greece had developed a reputation during the rule of Ali Pasha for having a highly successful textile industry.

What are the identifiable influences on the textile designs of the Epirus region during the 18th and 19th century ?

Why did the early collectors of Greek embroideries only include Epirus along with island embroideries as those representing Greek embroidery?

Textiles have historically played a significant role in the household and in the dress of Greek women and tell a story rich with heritage and meaning which continues to have relevance today.


Cheryl Simpson was a lecturer in Legal Studies at Flinders University, South Australia. She is currently an adjunct lecturer in the School of Humanities and the Creative Arts at Flinders University. She has a long-standing research interest in heritage matters and has published books and articles on this topic ranging from legal issues relating to heritage to cultural heritage and its significance today.


During the course of the year considerable expenses are incurred in staging the seminars. In order to mitigate these costs individuals or organisations are invited to donate against a lecture of their choice, please email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For this seminar we'd like to thank the following donors: Dr Marinis & Mrs Maria Pirpiris and Panagiota Stamatopoulou

You too can donate against one or more seminars and (optionally) let your name or brand be known as a patron of culture to our members, visitors and followers, as well as the broader artistic and cultural community of Melbourne.

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The Mezzanine floor (press "M" in the elevator) of Greek Centre Melbourne - located at the corner of Lonsdale and Russell streets in Melbourne, Australia.

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