As it resembled a bird it was as if she could fly

IMG_3095Martha  Tuttle (°1989, Santa Fe, New Mexico) is only 29 but her work has been recently purchased by MOMA New York. That’s not what convinced me to go and see her work in person in the Geukens & De Vil gallery in Antwerp. I was attracted to how she manipulates organic materials and uses textile techniques to create works lingering between paintings and sculptures.



Martha Tuttle is fascinated by matter, by the live-ness and fluidity of organic materials. She spins the wool in each painting by hand, then weaves it into cloth which is washed and often pounded for hours. By spending so much time manipulating her materials the energy of the artist’s body becomes an integral part of the work. The dense, irregular wool surface is combined with fragments of dyed transparent silk showing the space behind the work. Elements of brass, bronze, found stones and stones cast from stainless steel add layers of materiality.IMG_3088

IMG_3083For the exhibition in the gallery she added small shelves inspired by the beautiful architectural  space of the gallery. And in doing so she is linking everything together: landscape, body, material. Fascinating artist to discover!

Still on view till 24 November 2018 at Geukens & de Vil gallery.
If you want to know more: A video recording of a lecture Martha Tuttle gave in the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth in 2016 is available on the Modern’s Youtube.



Punk – Junko Oki


Junko Oki – A Bulb, 2017 (Detail)

Junki Oki started her artistic practice in 2002 right before turning 40. Her work consists of embroidery on old fabrics, often several centuries old, collected by her late mother. Her work focuses primarily on human relationships, particularly those of her family.  Personal memories seem to spiral into abstract intricate thread drawings. Junko Oki is based in Kanagawa, Japan.
I had admired her poetic and authentic work online, so when I learned that Office Baroque in Brussels was hosting her first solo exhibition in Belgium I just had to go and see her work in person.


Junko Oki – A Jacket, 2016


Junko Oki – Fingertip, 2017


Junko Oki – Anna Maria, 2016


Junko Oki – A Mineral, 2017


Junko Oki – Snow, Ruby, Lemon, 2017


Junko Oki – Memories, 2017


Junko Oki – Time Machine, 2017


IMG_9196Apart from her 2 and 3 dimensional embroidered work, Oki is also known for a series of artist books. The success she enjoyed after showing her work to the world was compiled in a beatiful book ‘Punk’ that not only captures her work but also the unique atmosphere she manages to instill in each work.


Punk – Book on Junko Oki’s work, 2014

Solo exhibition Junko Oki on view at Office Baroque, Brussels till 27 May 2017. The gallery has some copies of Punk for sale. Check out their website.



Between Dreams and Reality

Blood Brothers, 2013, Kustaa Saksi

Blood Brothers, 2013, Kustaa Saksi

I learned a new word. Hypnopompic is the dreamlike state between sleeping and waking that can evoke hallucinations. It is also the name of a series of wall hangings developed by Finnish graphic designer and artist Kustaa Saksi (b1975).

Arbor Vitae, 2013, Kustaa Saksi

Arbor Vitae, 2013, Kustaa Saksi

Without a background in textiles, Kustaa Saksi was able to produce these wonderful tapestries in the TextielLab in Tilburg, the Netherlands. The TextielLab is a unique knowledge and production centre for producing experimental knits and woven fabrics.

Hiding in Plain Sight, 2013, Kustaa Saksi

Hiding in Plain Sight, 2013, Kustaa Saksi

The resulting 8 wall hangings reveal a wonderful world of surreal landscapes with animals, plants and patterns. They are absolutely stunning, incredibly detailed and can be admired in the Textiel Museum, Tilburg, NL till Nov 2nd 2014.

Arachne's Web, 2013, Kustaa Saksi

Arachne’s Web, 2013, Kustaa Saksi

The development process of these works is illustrated in the exhibition by a fascinating film which offers a glimpse into the workplace showing Kustaa working closely together with a product developer of the TextielLab.

To actually see the tapestries in the exhibition space (and feel the samples) was a breathtaking experience, only then they reveal their three-dimensional qualities and amazing details and textures.
An artist to be watched!

detail 'Bood Brothers' Kustaa Saksi (2013)

detail wall hanging ‘Bood Brothers’ by Kustaa Saksi (2013)

Art by the Yard


Detail fashion textile with design by Pablo Picasso (1960's)

Detail fashion textile with design by Pablo Picasso (1960’s)

After the Second World War, the attitudes to art changed. The idea that art was the privilege of the wealthy began to fade. Many artists looked for ways to make their work less elitist and more appealing to a broader audience. They discovered design as a means to achieve this. Like graphic design and book illustrations, printing their designs on fabric was a logical step.

Joan Miró, roller-printed cotton fashion textile, 1955

Joan Miró, roller-printed cotton fashion textile, 1955

Salvador Dalí, fashion textile, 1950's

Salvador Dalí, fashion textile, 1950’s

In the post-war era, an enthusiasm for modernity and new ways of living permeated the American society, and nothing showed a commitment to modernity more clearly than an association with modern art.

Pablo Picasso with his second wife Jacqueline Roque. She wears a dress made from Picasso's textile 'Notes' for Fuller Fabrics, ca.1955.

Pablo Picasso with his second wife Jacqueline Roque. She wears a dress made from Picasso’s textile ‘Notes’ for Fuller Fabrics, ca.1955.

Saul Steinberg - 'Paddington Station' - roller printed cotton textile, 1952

Saul Steinberg – ‘Paddington Station’ – roller printed cotton textile, 1952

In the mid-1950s, an ambitious collaboration between the New York-based Fuller Fabrics company and several artists produced a line of prints by Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Fernand Léger, Marc Chagall and Raoul Dufy. Consumers were given access to a Joan Miró dress or a Salvador Dalí tie.
Even Pop artist Andy Warhol turned his hand to textiles.

Marc Chagall - "Belle Fleurs", screen printed cotton and rayon textile, 1956

Marc Chagall – “Belle Fleurs”, screen printed cotton and rayon textile, 1956

dress made with 'Melons'-screen printed border cotton textile designed by Andy Warhol, 1956.

Dress made with ‘Melons’-screen printed cotton textile designed by Andy Warhol, 1956.

In 1956, the sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi and the photographer Nigel Henderson started the art collective Hammer Prints in Essex, UK. Together with their wives, Freda Paolozzi and anthropologist Judith Stephen, they collected images from advertisements, cartoons, ethnographic and other scientific sources and translated these into patterns which they screen printed on fabric, tiles, wall paper etc. They produced some of the most innovative and influential designs of that time in Britain.

Eduardo Paolozzi and Nigel Henderson - 'Barkcloth', screen-printed cotton twill furnishing textile, 1955.

Eduardo Paolozzi and Nigel Henderson – ‘Barkcloth’, screen-printed by the artists themselves on cotton twill furnishing textile, 1955.

The distinction between fine and applied art started to blur in the 50’s and that’s beautifully illustrated in this exposition “Artist Textiles-Piccaso to Warhol” at the Textile Museum in Tilburg (The Netherlands) till 14 Sep 2014. All the pictures shown were taken in the exposition.

Venice Biennale Revisited – Joana Vasconcelos

The Venice Biennale provides an amazing art overload for the visitor and so I thought it would be nice to take the time to revisit the 2013 version which i visited in September. Which works left a lasting impression? Which artists were googled after coming home?


Joana Vasconcelos, Trafaria Praia, 2013

A Lisbon ferry was brought to Venice by the Portugese contemporary artist Joana Vasconcelos to address what Lisbon and Venice have in common in their history: water and navigation. The sides of the boat were covered with blue and white tiles depicting a contemporary view of Lisbon’s skyline and on the deck a textile and light installation was shown for the 55th Biennale visitors.

Joana Vasconcelos is currently showing in the Manchester Art Gallery till 1st  of June (‘Time Machine‘) and it all looks extremely colourful and exuberant. She basically takes over the whole space, inside and outside, to offer a highly personal critique on contemporary society by highlighting issues such as the status of women, class distinction and national identity .


Joana Vasconcelos, Britannia, 2014

The highlight of the exhibition is the world premiere of a new textile work that has been commissioned as a site-specific installation for the gallery’s staircase. ‘Britannia’ is a fabric patchwork that weaves together knitting and crochet with fine silk, cotton velvets, recycled clothes and industrially produced textiles embellished with Portuguese tassels, crystals and beads.


Joana Vasconcelos, A Noiva [The Bride], 2001-2005

Also her stunning sculpture ‘The Bride’ – a 5m high chandelier made of 25,000 tampons – which was exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 2005 looks stunning in this majestic gallery space.


Joana Vasconcelos, Piano Dentelle, 2008-2011


Joana Vasconcelos, Lilicoptère, 2012



Joana Vasconcelos,True Faith, 2014

This exhibition looks like a colourful journey into the extravagant world of Joana Vasconcelos!

Moving Textiles


What I particularly liked in the ‘Moving Textiles’ exhibition in Ronse (Belgium) is the exploration of how artists challenged each other by cross-border collaboration.


Each work of art went through several interventions, carried out by 3 to 4 artists from Belgium and/or UK. Everything in the process took place anonymously. The participants did not know who would carry out an intervention before or after them. Everything was carefully registered by means of codes.


In the works you recognize specific textile techniques such as knitting, weaving, lace, sewing, cutting, cut-offs, felt, tufting, digital printing, embroidering, etc… Interesting!
Oh, and there’s some lovely clothes inspiration for grabs too.
IMG_1888 IMG_1891

If you want to find out more, please check the website of Moving Textiles -Crysalis and the Metamorphosis blog.