© 1995-2024_Cecilia Mandrile

​​​The World is a Handkerchief


El Mundo es un pañuelo

2019 | 2023

​A traveling project by Cecilia Mandrile & Claudia DeMonte




“The World is a Handkerchief,” an international collaborative project of 

52 artists, features a collection of handkerchiefs which explores notions of homeland, family, displacement, and identity. The concept of the project centers on the age-old Spanish idiom ‘el mundo es un pañuelo,’ or as we may say in English ‘what a small world.’ It praises serendipitous encounters, moments of discovering personal connections in distant places or unexpected contexts.

Celebrating such interconnectedness, and willing to nurture the disappearing tradition of printed handkerchiefs, Cecilia Mandrile & Claudia DeMonte invited their mentors, students, and peer artists to share visual contemplations or personal stories on the various notions of homeland. They created a limited edition of 25 handkerchiefs each, asked each invited artist to produce her or his own handkerchief, 

and offered their creation in exchange. 

Handkerchiefs—the foldable, portable, simple squares of cotton—have accompanied people in celebrations and farewells in many cultures for centuries, offered bodily protection and coverage, and sustained expressions of political tenets and spiritual beliefs. In “The World is a Handkerchief,” handkerchiefs become vessels of memories and itinerant narratives; containers of emotions; translators of wounds, signals of ideological resistance. Each piece epitomizes a soft space for visual statements, to be carried as a tangible memento. Artists employed printmaking, painting, embroidery, drawing, and collage to capture their wandering, often disappearing recollections of homeland as well as reflections
on displacement and identity.​

See Installation at recent venues:


The World IS a Handkerchief 

Blackburn 20|20. Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, NYC, 2020

The World IS a Handkerchief : The World IN a Handkerchief

Proyecto 'ace. Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2022

For Further information, please contact us.