Photography: Sjoerd Knibbeler, www.craftscouncil.nl
For Dutch Design Week 2020, Crafts Council Nederland created an online exhibition: HOW&WOW Linen. The two-part exhibition takes the visitor on a journey through Dutch agriculture showing the course of linen production from the field to the finished product. HOW - a series of videos - starts with the delicate blue flax flower and introduces ancient techniques including rippling, winnowing, retting, scutching and heckling combs. WOW shows experimental work by 15 designers and artisans using linen in ways that mix tradition and fresh perspectives. The work shows the potential and enduring relevance of flax, linen and linseed oil as art materials.
Image: Saar Scheerlings, Photography: Sjoerd Knibbeler.
Saar Scheerlings studied at the Design Academy in Eindhoven. Textile, craft and diversity in material and construction are the common denominators in her work. For this project, Scheerlings collected second-hand linen in the region of her home in the French countryside. ‘There is so much to find in thrift stores, and each time the fabric is slightly different. It is wonderful to see all of those subtle variations. To me, the visibly-used pieces are the most beautiful, repaired time and time again by darning, or even with ‘new’ fabric. This lived-in process makes the old linen that I have collected in France all the more valuable.’ Scheerlings is obsessed with crafts within traditional regional costumes. These days regional costume is generally seen in museums, without a body. The literal absence of the body reminded Scheerlings of ghosts. ‘I developed this image into three sculptures; human-like figures, bodiless, with only a shell.’ As such, the disappearance of the regional costume has taken on a life of its own. In the future, Scheerlings would like to let the group of ghosts grow and maybe even start to move a little. ‘So that they suddenly turn, for example, or bend towards you, truly spooky.’
Image: Anna Wetzel, Photography: Sjoerd Knibbeler.
WOW also introduces work from Pauline Esparon, Maaike Gottschal, Eva Klee, Agne Kucerenkaite, Christien Meindertsma, Anita Michaluszko, Ruben van der Scheer, Studio Plastique, Lee Sun, the linen project stewards, Babs van den Thillart, Weefnetwerk, Mark de Weijer and Anna Wetzel. With cooperation of Karlijn Bokhorst and Heleen Lorijn.
To watch the films and view the exhibition, visit HOW&WOW Linen