Telling my story through Saffron

Telling my story of immigration and cultural displacement was the driving force behind the creation of the Saffron series. This little 9 year old know it all travels the world with her family. Described as hilarious, quirky and spirited Saffron was a joy to write and a great company as I was also travelling the world with my young family.

Her insights, her humour and her ability to always get into tricky situations while visiting different cultures was something that I wanted to share with young children who may have never been exposed to other cultures and customs.  Being an author/illustrator in New Zealand also  gave me the opportunity to visit many schools in the Auckland area and talk to sons and daughters of immigrant parents. It was my pleasure and delight to meet all these young children who were so welcoming of my thick Spanish  accent and so eager to share their own family stories of immigration into New Zealand.

Meet my little Saffron’s family :

These are: Sage, Mum, Star Anise and Saffron. Illustration by Victoria Martinez Azaro

Saffron in Taiwan.

Saffron eating Yum Cha

Saffron in trouble in Siena, completely lost!!!!

 

So To learn more about Saffron go here

How to tell a story through fashion, craft and textiles

A very clever lady called Mandy, told me yesterday that we teach best what we most need to learn. This really resonated with me since I have a passion to help people tell their stories through fashion, textiles and crafts but I feel that for the last many years I haven’t been telling mine.

Flowers, marigold and dyers chamomile

The need to document my physical existence in this world has been a burning driving force behind my creative practice since I emigrated from my home country more than twenty years ago.  However, this has taken many different formats in terms of output. For a while there, I decided to stay home and look after my children and as I fell in love with the spontaneous and creative ways of  children’s inner world I  got immersed in children’s literature. The Saffron series  was a very happy experience which allowed me to work in different schools around New Zealand drawing,  writing, sharing stories and creating imaginary scenarios with little minds.

Sketch book, Victoria Martinez Azaro

My illustrations were obviously very much embedded of my fashion style of drawing and because I was mainly collaging and composing through mixed media I started doing the same with textiles. It was then that I became passionate in using waste to collage my everyday life with meaningful objects. The love of natural dyeing and repurposed waste expanded as the years went by and as I became more and more aware of fashion sustainability issues.

Naturally dyed yarn and work in progress, Victoria Martinez Azaro

So, as I am about to launch the first pilot of the “Travelling Sewing Box Project” in association with ALAC, in which we will create a community textile piece which will depict social narratives and memories of immigrant women in Aotearoa New Zealand, I will also be narrating my own personal stories through my textiles and will be sharing them through this blog.