From time to time, I love to participate in art projects of other artists. This gives me the opportunity of working for a concrete assignment given by someone else then myself. I like to send work not only to textile artists but also to artists working in other media. I see it as a welcome challenge to create a fiber art piece that “fits in” with the other media art pieces and it is also another try to let the art world know that textile works have a right to be regarded as art pieces just as well. Plus, taking part in other’s projects provides the bene of having my work more widely shared.
Below are my works that I sent to other artists within the years of 2015 – 17.
Creating “The key” was my very first time participating in a mail art project. I was approached by the talented and friendly contemporary mixed media artist MOO (Monika Mori) and instantly loved her project! The project’s theme was “Turquoise” and you can see all the amazing entries in this online gallery. Since this first participating in an art mail project, I love the concept!
In spring 2016, I came across an open call for another art mail project on facebook. The project was initiated and curated by the Spanish photographer María Hernández Laplaza. The project’s theme was “Confidencias mudas” and the resulting exhibition toured throughout Spain. Some pictures can be found here. Unfortunately, my work was stolen during the first exhibition. 😦
Another interesting art project I found in 2016 was author and artist Sabine Küster’s mail art project “…mir ist so daDa im Kopf!”. As a Swiss artist and author myself, I feel closely connected with dadaism and I love playing around with words as much as I love embroidery! My entry (see above right) was selected for publication in the project’s work book (above left). The book is available here.
Inspired by the three art mail projects I took part in, I decided to give a go at curating my own exhibition after all. As a founding member of the Swiss Hand Embroiderer’s Guild, I organised the project “IN BETWEEN / DAZWISCHEN” under the Guild’s roof. The project resulted in an online gallery and a one-day exhibition in a pop-up gallery in Winterthur, Switzerland. My three entries are shown above. The project was a very time consuming but also very exciting and satisfying undertaking. 🙂
PS: The Guild hosts a yearly fiber art project since then. Go check out their website!
Also in 2017, I worked with one of my favorite artist collectives Art in Open Roomz again for a small yet funny art project: upcycling cd’s into art objects! You can view pictures of the resulted mobile sculpture here.
My last project entry in 2017 was “Beautified”, a quilt square for a collaborative art quilt by the Upcycled Cloth Collective founded by upcycling textiles virtuoso Melanie Brummer. The square has to be made of recycled materials and has to show a word paraphrasing “upcycled”. If you are interested, join the collective here.
Many fiber artists sew tunnels on the back of their art pieces to hang them like you would a quilt. Or they choose to sell their art work without hanging system and leave it to the buyer how to put it on his/her wall.
Me? I found that I simply like deciding how to put my pieces up myself! Earlier, I sometimes feared the risk of the buyer disliking my framing/mounting choices. Not anymore! I love to mount my finished pieces on or into something that is easily hangable; in fact, I feel that my pieces are only finished after I have mounted and/or framed them! So why stop before what I see the last step in my creative process only to try pleasing a broader buyer spectrum?!
Also, I really want to make my textile pieces shine like classical paintings. Textile arts live a shadowy existence within the fine arts anyway; and proper framing at least gives them the opportunity to quickly be hung between paintings in a gallery.
My mounting choices
I have two favorite mounting options: mounting the piece on canvas or mounting it on foam core board.
As to canvases, I buy industrial made canvases and customize them by painting and/or embroidering them to become the proper frame for my fabric piece. The fabric piece is then sewn (or in rare cases as I would with denim) glued onto the canvas.
As to foam core boards, I buy them in do-it-yourself stores or in architect’s supply shops. After having cut them into the right sizes, I mount the textile piece onto the board. Sometimes, I then call the art work finished as is; other times I also frame it afterwards.
My framing choices
I buy my frames in do-it-yourself stores or online. Sometimes I overpaint them. Going to the framers and having the pieces put in a customized frame would be far too expensive for me (it is VERY pricey to have it professionally framed in Switzerland!) – in fact, this would multiply the price of my work. So I leave professional framing for the times when I will be a rich and famous artist… 😉
Some pieces go in a vintage frame; I especially love upcycled old wooden frames that once were windows or mirrors!
What is YOUR way? How do YOU put a textile piece on a wall??
View Points Davos is a series of 4 landscape pictures, framed in embroidery hoops.
They are replicas of pictures I took in my hometown of places (view points) I really like.
On the back, the exact geographic coordinates are indicated.
To the fiber techniques (appliqué and hand stitch), mixed media is added (miniature sculpting and painting). The pieces are adorned with paraphernalia I found in exactly the same places as depicted (dried flowers, stones, lichen etc.).
Here are the four pieces:
One of the pieces (Albertibach) was juried into the yearly contemporary art exhibition Bündner Werkschau at the gallery Kabinett der Visionäre in Chur in 2016.
The stamped series is not new, but I am catching up with this blog today… hopefully… 😉
So: for the stamped series, I cut stamps (obviously!). I started with cutting lino, but my fingers didn’t like the band aids very much… therefore, I bought some rubber sheets which are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay easier to cut!
“Creating pattern, exploring stripes” – these were my main goals with this series. Furthermore, I wanted to experiment with incorporating unusual materials into my work. I finished the series in July 2017 and the works (alongside others) will be shown at two upcoming art fairs in Basel and Zurich.
My first piece is titled “Winter Eve” and it addresses three senses: sight, touch and smell. On a painted cotton background, I attached citrus peel and gloves with hand stitch and further adorned with glass beads. This is how it looks in a golden painted wood frame:
The second piece is titled “Frost”. My daughter painted some cotton with water colors, and I cut it into stripes of which I then burned the borders. The burning process further changed the colors of the fabric stripes which added a cool effect. I then fixated the stripes on a cotton background and added sashiko-style embroidery.
Piece no. 3 is titled “Industrial”. I formed aluminium stripes out of yogurt lids and created a linocut stamp for the ring shapes. Framed it looks such:
The fourth piece bears the title “Serenity” (after a fellow fiber artist saw it in progress on instagram and commented “it looks so serene!” I dediced on this title 😉 ). I painted a silk background and carefully glued birch tree bark stripes on it before adding stitches. For framing, I decided on a dark frame for contrast:
The last piece is “Pollination”. One that also addresses two senses: sight and smell. The stripes consist of bee’s wax and the embroidered part is mostly turkey work, left uncut.
In 2014, I started what got to be an embroidery illustrated story. And now, three years later, I finally hold the first edition of booklet copies in my hands! 🙂
Back then, I participated in an online course of the Atelier Lange Nadel and we had to each month upload a new piece of work in an online gallery for about half a year. I decided to create individual pieces that would loosely connect to each other. I started with the coral reef that later became chapter 5 in my story:
As a recognition feature, I added a piece of grey satin ribbon. That’s how my story got it’s title!
As to the story itself: I am also a writer and had had a story about a medieval wet nurse in mind already for a long time… always wanted to write a novel, but could not find the time. So I decided to write a story in free verse instead. It is in English, which is NOT my mother tongue. I don’t know why, but the words just came to me in this language. Maybe because in English, you can say a lot with just a few words whereas in German, you would need much longer phrases…
So here we go: “Ribbon in Grey” is a story about a medieval nurse and her daily struggle for survivor. It is also a story about power and fear, about loss and love. Want to read the story and see all embroidered pieces? You can order a copy here.
From [lat. momentum] meaning ‘moment, phase, point of time’, these works sketch moments in life where a particular feeling was predominant.
All momenti series’ pieces are worked on a hand painted silk background.
The embroidery is mostly an exploration of stitches, sometimes with the addition of beads or metallic threads.
The first three pieces were shown in the art gallery OhneTitel in my town in 2015.
And a year later, some of the pieces have travelled as far as to Australia to be shown during the Small Works 2016 exhibition at Brunswick Street Gallery.
I recently experimented with different framing possibilities. I tried mounting on foam board, framing behind glass, framing without glass, painting custom frames etc. etc. What I came up with in the end is a combination of above variations: