Journal of Youthful Travels: Project at the Textile Lab in Tilburg

‘Journal of Youthful Travels’ is the title of the project I made in collaboration with the textile lab in Tilburg. The project consists of a series of machine-made embroideries based on my chilhood experiences living in countries like Saudi-Arabia, Taiwan and Poland. Each work consists of my own interpretation of the geographical space and the memory of the place I lived in. In the textile-lab in Tilbug, I worked together with Frank de Wind to transform my sketches into embroideries on the machine.
The idea for this project was inspired by the needlework samplers of schoolgirls in former times, the so-called ‘ souvenirs de ma jeunesse’. The schoolgirls used to practice practical and fancy stitches on pieces of cloth, that at the end of their schoolperiod would be stitched together as one long textile piece. These pieces could attain 10 meters in size. Although these textiles didn’t have the intention to be artpieces, I was impressed and fascinated by the visual quality of these works. What inspired me was the attention put in the work and the long and slow process of the making.
Working in the textile lab in Tilburg had this quality of working on one textile piece over a longer period of time. I was interested in how the machine would change my images. The slowness of the process enabled me to take a distance to my own work. Every step and decision in the process was equally important: writing the application, communication with Frank de Wind about my project, making the sketches, choosing the textiles, choosing the colours for the thread and working together with Frank de Wind for many days at the textile lab.
The work that came out of this process is a textile piece consisting of elements having each a different atmosphere through its imagery, colours and types of stitches.