Monday, 24 January 2011

Material Girl

If I had a chance to start it all over, I might have become a material girl , i.e. textile designer.  Fabrics fascinate me since I can remember. My mom used to have this beautiful midnight blue dress with elaborate and dimensional black motifs. It was from 1976 and if I hadn’t chopped it, I might as well show off in it right now…But of course I chopped it. Chopping was a definition of the first decade of my life. Mentally rolling back time (you can’t do it otherwise, can you?) I wonder and admire my mother, her flexibility and her support of all our “creative attempts”. Or perhaps it was the only way for a full-time-working mom to keep us busy and happy, I don’t know. 
 Image ETRO
  Anyway, my every visit back home ends bringing back a suitcase of sparkly, rainbow-bright and totally unusable fabrics. Once in a while a new exotic pillow appears on the sofa, but mostly they sit among proudly pale linens (shocked and sniggering) looking a little outlandish. But I can’t help, it. The textile bazar in Khojent is a miraculous place. My sister inevitably starts rolling her eyes if I mention the imminent trip to the market… I don’t mind, I let myself enjoy the surrealistic beauty. I am playing Alice in wonderland:
`But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
`Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here.
I'm mad. You're mad.' 

For Christmas among the other beautiful presents I got this book. A tiny dream come true. I love to use textile designs in my works. They allow a painting to be figurative and abstract at the same time. Fabric designs - just like mosaïque – offer endless variations of colors and defy dimensions. 

In the painting I am working on now, fabric designs are not just a way to depict a subject, they ARE  the subject. Stunning dresses women wear in the South of Tajikistan take months to decorate. All stitching is made by hand and natural dyes are used to give fabrics this vibrant look.  “Kulobi Dancer” is still in progress, it measures 150 cm x 50 cm and is acryl on canvas.   
And if you are as mad (or mildly interested)  about textiles as I am, and you are located in Switzerland, do go and visit «Soie Pirate. Textile Archive Abraham Zurich» in Zurich National Museum. "The Abraham Archive with its vast array of textile treasures sheds light on the most diverse aspects of fabrics and fashion in the second half of the 20th century. The charismatic personality of Gustav Zumsteg, the innumerable fabric patterns, swatch books, and photographs on show, as well as a printing table and glimpse into the future of the archive will transport visitors into a fascinating world of exquisite craftsmanship, innovative artistry, and glamour".

I wish you a colourful week.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful painting! Beautiful fabrics and textures.

    Nice post. I'll look for the book.

    Have a great week too!