“The Journey”

Dana Almousselli

Object: Sock. Material: Wool. Found in Oxyrhynchus (modern Al-Bahnasa), Egypt. Manchester Museum inv. 983. Originally found by a British archaeologist in a Roman-period cemetery in Oxyrhynchus, this colourful 1,700-year-old sock with split toes was made in fine 3-ply wool through the knitting method known as ‘sprang’. It was preserved for a long time due to Egypt’s dry climate. Photography by Julia Thorne / Tetisheri.

Through conveying the imagined journey of the single sock digitally, my aim was to create a more relatable visual of a historical item to highlight the importance of context to our understanding of ancient discoveries. Despite its dishevelled appearance, this sock, which was handmade for a child in Roman Egypt, was once useful and precious to its owner. However, as time passed, it lost these connections, even though it was knitted strongly enough that it survived for centuries and moved across worlds. This inspired my fictional story of the mother and her child so that, rather than learning only about the factual information, we are left with an ambiguous lesson of how these objects displayed in museums once had an emotional attachment for individuals. By showing a mother unveiling her affection physically by providing clothing that keeps you warm and your vulnerability concealed, we are more likely to sympathise with this discovered sock and understand its value. 
Dana Almousselli

Animation: “The Journey”. Creative Producer: Dana Almousselli. Artist Mentor: Abas Eljanabi. Animated by: Rebecca Horswill. Sound design: Charlotte Proctor.

My wrinkled, fatigued hands engulf
Your dry, unravelled and banal threads
            With perpetual admiration, 
LOVE, my passion spills majestically 
Out my working fingers, mesmerising your
Vines and ripped thorns
Endlessly delicate
            Stitching and knitting
            Till your lost thin parts find
            Comfort in my woven creation
            To warm                       
                                    To guard
            The crying soul camouflaged 
            In these hands of mine
            Until you’re carried WORLDS away…
            Like a D  O  V  E flying through

Poem by Dana Almousselli