August 11, 2013

Re-use, re-consuming and re-enjoying

'Eye on nature' exhibition at the Textielmuseum in Tilburg*

Susan and I went to the Textielmuseum in Tilburg to look at carpets and to make a Inuit or Japanese doll last week. "Wall hangings are back in a big way. Designers and artists have rediscovered a passion for these interior textiles. With Eyes on Nature: wall hangings, the TextielMuseum illustrates the evolution of Dutch wall hangings in the past 50 years. The exhibition ranges from realistic and abstract works, to rough and narrative modern pieces. The focus is on the depiction of nature", according to the Textielmuseum.
The wall hangings were nicely shown and gave it a When-I'm-grown-up-I-will-get-me-a-big-white-wall-to-hang-a-nice-wall-hanging-on feel to it. The evolution was for my taste to much focused on abstract tapestries, but I really liked that there were very different kinds of wall-hangings.
I especially liked the wall-hangings by Hella Jongerius. The re-use of old fabrics (for the bottles she used blankets) to make hip designs and the pieces for the IKEA PS collection show a great way of making new things without only consuming.

"Butterflies" by Marc Mulders, 2002

Detail "Latin America", embroidered (flat stitch) tapestry by Barbara Broekman

Detail of "Birds" by Jamie Hayon, 2013

"Threatened Swan" by Wilma Kuil, 1990. Wilma Kuil uses printed cloth and paints on top of that. This work is based on the painting by Jan Asselijn

"Herinneringen aan vergezichten" by Kiki van Eijk, 2013

"Paravent (#7)" by Hella Jongerius, 2005. For this carpet secondhand blankets are used with the needle-punch technique

Susan next to 'Pelle' and 'Mikkel' from the IKEA PS collection, 2009

These wall hangings by Hella Jongerius are made during a IKEA-Unicef project that helps Indian women to earn a living and meet other women while their children attend school. The wall-hangings result from both industrial and craft production and honour the role of the craftspeople, as each specific fabric carries the name of the woman who contributed to it. The images are taken from Swedish fairy tales, a reference to IKEA’s homeland.**

Hella Jongerius way of working reminded me of another great carpet-project, Carpet of Life***. The Carpet of Life concept is based on traditional Moroccan carpets called Boucherouite or Boucherwi, made by most families from nomadic background. This traditional way of making carpets almost disappeared. Textiles to create products are hard to come by in isolated parts of the world. The Carpet of Life concept works with secondhand clothing, not anyones clothing, but someone's wardrobe. You send your old clothing and they make a carpet from it. You can choose your own (abstract) design and what clothing is used were. The traditional way of making carpets in the Sahara is being protected while a custom made product is being created. A wonderful combination of re-use, re-consuming and re-enjoying!

The exhibition 'Eye On Nature' at the Textielmuseum in Tilburg is till 15 september. Below some pictures of the making of carpets from Carpet of Life.

* More about 'Eye on nature' on
** Information from
*** More about Carpet of Life on

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