Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Tilleke Schwarz

Hello everyone!

I first came across Tilleke Schwarz's work when we took a University trip to the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show.  I remember being amazed at the sheer detail that had gone into each piece of work.    I ended up visiting her stand several times and noticed more and more details each time.  I had to buy her book and spent the bus ride home drinking in the wonderful images.

I contacted Ms Schwarz to ask if I could write this blog post about her, she said yes! :)  I got most of the answers to my questions from her website - www.tillekeschwarz.com  She has a very extensive Q&A section, you must go and read some of the daft questions she has been asked over the years, some are pretty amusing :P  There are also loads more beautiful photographs of her work and you can even purchase some pieces from her shop.

 - Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

My work is a mixture of graphic quality, content and fooling around.  The humor in my work is typical for my Jewish background:a mixture of a laugh and a tear.  Folk art and daily life are great sources for inspiration.  I use mixed media with a focus on embroidery on linen and on drawings and paintings.
My work can be understood as a kind of visual poetry.  It is a mixture of contemporary influences, graffiti, icons, texts and traditional images from samplers.  The embroidery contains narrative elements.  Not really complete stories, with a beginning, a storyline, and an end.  On the contrary, the narrative structures are used as a form of communication with the viewer.
The viewer is invited to decipher connections or create them.  The viewer may assemble the stories and to produce chronological and casual structures.  Actually the viewer might step into the role of the "author."  It can become a kind of play between the viewer and me .  The work also relates to the history of humanity that is determined through stories.

-Where do you get your inspiration from?

I collect images and texts that intrigue, move or amaze me. Anything can inspire me. Most important are: folk art (especially samplers), daily news, cats and scraps of textiles.  I am influenced mostly by my parents and the way I was brought up.  I love folk art (especially Dutch samplers), pop art, graffiti and contemporary art (after 1980).

-Do you have any new projects/exhibitions coming up?

In 2012 I will only show one piece of work, at Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show,  but in 2013 (Autumn) there will be more!
  • Textiel triennial Without Borders.  Travelling group exhibition in 2012 en 2013 in Slovakia, Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary.  For details see - http://triennialtextile.com/en/news.
  • Galery Noord, "Texflex" Groningen (NL) group exhibition, July 2012, see www.galerienoord.nl
  • Holden Gallery, Manchester (UK), www.holdengallery.mmu.ac.uk 50 years 62 group, July 2012
  • Waterland Museum, Purmerend (NL) 10+10 =100 August 28 till September 3rd, group show.
  • Yellow Fellow Collection, Leidschendam (NL) from September 1st 2012, group show, see: www.yellow-fellow.com
  • Knitting and Stitching Shows in London, Dublin and Harrogate (UK) Autumn 2012.  To support the sales of the book Push Stitchery.
  • Galery Handwerk Munchen (D) "Nadelweke/ Needleworks" October 16th - November 17th.  It is a group show of about 25 international artists.  For details see: www.hwk-muenchen.de/galerie
Ms Schwarz has a lovely new book out, "New Potatoes" .  It contains new work, (2007- 2012), and a lot of background information.  You can send an email to info@tillekeschwarz.com if you would like to see a preview of the book or be informed about the price.  If you would like to know more about this book then please go to www.surfacedesign.org

I hope that I will be able to go to the Knitting and Stitching Show this year to see all her wonderful new work! 

I would just like to thank Ms Schwarz for letting me write this post :).  All photographs came from her website and are copyright of Tilleke Schwarz. 

Dittery Dot

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