Textiles Revealed: BELGIUM IS DESIGN in collaboration NYTM
Belgium is Design is pleased to present TEXTILES REVEALED, introducing the work of 11 contemporary Belgian textile designers to an American audience. As part of the fourth annual New York Textile Month, the exhibition is curated by Lidewij Edelkoort and Philip Fimmano.
Education, material knowledge, research, innovation, technology and production methods, not to mention ecological, ethical and social awareness, are all reflected in TEXTILES REVEALED. The works on show range from imposing installations and sustainable furniture to instinctive wallhangings and textural rugs. As Edelkoort explains, “ The exhibition upends preconceived notions of traditional Belgian textiles – often limited to the country’s centuries-old linen heritage – instead unraveling an exciting thread among designers from the region. Tufting, felting, digital jacquards and coiling are just some of the techniques employed by a new generation redefining the boundaries of textile creativity. ”
New York Textile Month represents the ideal showcase for such creativity. From unique collectible pieces to commissioned interior works, textiles are very much a part of contemporary Belgian design.
Although regularly exhibiting at leading design events in Europe, TEXTILES REVEALED is Belgium is Design’s first venture in the United States and the first time it has focused exclusively on textiles. The event offers great opportunities for the selected artists and designers to connect with the America’s dynamic galleries, collectors, interior architects and designers.
Alice Leens graduated in textile design from the prestigious La Cambre arts school in Brussels three years ago and has since taken part in both group exhibitions and solo shows. Experimental in style and approach, Leens focuses on the essence of textiles: the thread. The foundation of all textile production, her work frees the thread from its utilitarian role and encourages the viewer to(re)discover the beauty in the banal and its infinite possibilities.
Flavien Servaes and Ani Bedrossian are both graduates of the prestigious ENSAV La Cambre School in Brussels. Their textiles are research-driven and experimental, intimately linked to the tangible ways in which the works develop. It is an approach embedded in not only the very structure of the thread, its movements and intertwining, but also to the carefully thought out mutations of the material and the tools that bring them to life.
CHEVALIER MASSON AND DIANE STEVERLYNCK
Radical and innovative, Anne Masson and Eric Chevalier have collaborated since 2006. Their work explores an array of ways to design textiles, from the raw material to the finished product via the transformation of what is considered waste. This direction takes on many forms: be it the yarn, pattern, function, structure or texture of a specific shape. They create self-edited products, and also work on projects associated with architects, designers, choreographers and fashion designers. In 2014 they founded the project Laend together with the designer Diane Steverlynck, exploring how a rhythm or a chromatic sequence in the thread produces repercussions in the designs and motifs of the fabric that they compose. Diane Steverlynck follows a personal approach centred on objects and textiles. Her work focuses on researching textiles, materials and structures and their influence on the use and identity of everyday objects.
Textile designer and artist Christoph Hefti divides his time between Brussels, Zurich, Paris and Stockholm. Parallel to a career in fashion textiles and print, Hefti is also active in the performing arts, where he combines music, costume design, video and live art. His love for crafted textiles has taken him to Nepal, where he designs and develops his own series of hand-knotted rugs. Fascinated by the use of traditional crafts in a contemporary context, he approaches the mystical and even spiritual tradition of storytelling textiles through very personal yet worldly themes.
DE CLUUZ BY L UC DRUEZ
DeCluuz is the latest project by textile research consultant Luc Druez. As seen in the exhibition, he has created a series of female portraits, their images embodied in an intertwining of technical fibers and metallic filaments. In these large-scale tapestries, DeCluuz invites us to exchange glances with these young ‘ladies of metal’ and proposes a bridge between the technical appropriation of unexpected fibers (electrical wires, fishing wires, etc.) and the time-honored heritage of weaving.
After spending ten years creating textiles for leading fashion houses such as Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier and Balenciaga, today Geneviève Levivier devotes her time to contemporary tapestries. These works are made with a philosophy of slow and sensorial design, combining craftsmanship with innovative technologies to constantly renew the language of textile art.
The skills and vivid imaginations of Justine de Moriamé and Erika Schillebeeckx come together as KRJST. Their dramatic tapestries question the relationship between tradition and technology and reflect an emotional mapping in response to the world we live in. Boundary pushers in all senses, contemporary social, political and environmental contexts are translated into often turbulent visions of hanging gardens and incandescent vegetation– pathways to understanding both conflict and beauty.
BELGIUM IS DESIGN
The Belgian organization for the promotion of design,Wallonie-Bruxelles Design Mode (WBDM), has been working since 2007 to promote Belgian design under the Belgium is Design campaign. Through marketing and promotion activities, Belgium is Design has brought together groups of young talents and established companies at prestigious trade shows such as Maison&Objet in Paris, Milan Design Week, Business of Design Week in Hong Kong and the Stockholm Furniture Fair.
Lidewij Edelkoort and Philip Fimmano curate contemporary design exhibitions for international institutions. In 2011, they co-founded Talking Textiles, an ongoing initiative to promote awareness and innovation in textiles through touring shows, publications and educational programs. Their exhibitions have appeared at Artipelag (Stockholm), Arnhem Mode Biennale, Design Museum Holon, Gaîté Lyrique (Paris), Museum of Contemporary Design & Applied Arts (Lausanne), Museum of Architecture (Moscow), Textiel Museum (Tilburg), TRAPHOLT (Denmark) and 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT (Tokyo).