Originally coming from the field of painting, during my studies (industrial design and business administration, then graduated in textile and surface design with a 1.0 in the practical part), it took about four years to find my own style. That was really hard, because I like to try out a lot of things and don’t like to commit myself to only one style.
Since my childhood and youth, I have been intensively involved in painting and other forms of artistic expression, such as collage, sculpture, prints and many drawing and painting techniques. My strength is clearly in the craft.
It was only at the end of my studies, after a lot of experimentation and trial and error, that I finally found textile art as my main focus. Since textile materials offer endless possibilities for design, both two-dimensional and sculptural, they are exactly the right medium of expression for my multifaceted way of working.
Textile materials can be painted, printed, shaped, modeled, stuffed and alienated. I was only marginally interested in classical textile arts and crafts and also in 3-layer quilting, Rather, I absorbed the craft techniques of working with fabrics in order to combine fabrics and other malleable, soft materials with interesting structures and to make them durable.
This fascination with the working and manipulation of malleable materials has continued throughout my professional career, whether in the design of costumes or in artistic expression The handwork (and also the machine work with embroidery and felting machine) is in the end purely automatic and like meditation. It follows a spiritual thread. Sewing and shaping fabrics is like painting.
My aim is always to create an exciting three-dimensional surface, which in the end can be a quilt or a painting on canvas, depending on whether I use rather flowing fabrics or rather harder fabrics and materials in combination with wire or papers/ cardboards/ stones and others.
My exhibition: Structures
In the exhibition “Structures” I show a variety of different quilts, which all have the play with different structures in common. I can live out my fascination for 3D surfaces and malleable materials especially in textile design. In addition, quilts are much more flexible than canvases and can be combined better with other and especially thick textile and sewable materials. In addition, numerous techniques can be applied to the quilt, such as printing, dyeing, combining materials, felting, crocheting, smocking, assemblage, shaping, layering and many more. The art quilt is a wonderful, multi-layered form of artistic expression and for me quilting is a journey into another world.
All images ©Anke Pradel-Schönknecht, used by kind permission of the artist.