Kaarina Kaikkonen studied at the Academy of Fine Arts between 1978 and 1983. She has become one of the leading artists of Finnish art thanks to her work in sculpture and installations using clothing. Her research is primarily distinguished by using old clothes, which are bearers of stories and anonymous memory.
In tutorials with my students we often discuss scale. Many of them are afraid of trying to work large and usually feel more comfortable painting and making on a smaller scale. In this blog post I will show you 3 exciting textile artists and their installations – pieces that exploit the possibilities of textiles on a very large scale.
Looking at American Dancer/Performer/Sculptor Artist Nick Cave it is really inspiring. He is best known for his “Soundsuits”, which are exciting wearable Textile pieces, almost sculptures that look whimsical, bright and other-wordly looking. He regularly performs in the sculptures himself, dancing either before the public or for the camera.
Wherever people come from or wherever people go, people’s culture and therefore identity is in a constant evolution, a change that looks back and forward in history. For this reason, appearance plays a very important role in that, clothing establishes a way of exteriorising our personality, our own identity and thereby our history. According to that, the inspiration for my work, usually comes from my curiosity on identifying elements from different cultures that have been appropriated for another different culture, and have been given a different meaning and appearance to the previous one, at the same time as trying to understand the reasons why this has occurred.
Looking for some colour inspiration, I have been recently looking at the early work of one of my favourite designers, Verner Panton. Although he is most famous for his Architecture, futuristic interiors and innovative use of materials, like plastic, for furniture. He developed an exciting collection of psychedelic and colourful Textiles.
I have recently discovered South African textile artist Willemien de Villiers. Her stitched work caught my attention because of the stories that she tries to tell through the materials she uses and the techniques to talk about the process of decay and disintegration, as well as the inevitable new growth and integration that follows.