in the Category: art

A hybrid artist for the 21st century

Textile artist and print designer Emma Terweduwe has only very recently graduated from KASK in Ghent but has made quite a name for herself already. In November she moved to her own studio and is now preparing several future projects. In these times when technology brings us together and separates us at the same time, she manages to merge the digital with tactile craftwork.

Interview by Simon Baeten 
Photos shot in Ghent by Kayla Van Durme 

When did you know you wanted to work with textiles?

From a very young age, I’ve always been fascinated by textiles. I’ve travelled all around China because I had family living there and we visited many different communities of people in which the art and tradition of textile are very much alive. That has undoubtedly influenced my choice for textile design rather than fashion.

What’s the importance of colour in your work?

Colour plays a significant role in my work. I’m always researching how different shades and colours communicate with one another, which adds an extra layer to my work and brings it to life. My carpets usually have two different sides, a more graphic one and a more organic one, which gives the buyer the choice of how they want to display it. This adds to the durability and allows me to create pieces that last a long time and continue to tell their story.

‘I want to create interesting textures that seduce you to touch and feel them’

What role does technology play in your work?

A large part of my design process has always been digital. I find it very interesting to merge the digital with handwork: in the trajectory from initial design to finished product, both digital and manual steps are involved. With this hybrid way of working, I try to embrace the possibilities software gives us, without losing the unique quality of a handmade object. 

‘My generation has a lot to deal with, but that makes us very conscious of what we do and put out into the world’

What do you think defines your generation?

My generation dares to go against the grain. People are less scared to express how they feel, even when things aren’t going well for them, and that is a very positive change. More specifically in design and the arts, there’s a clear return to slower, more artisanal ways of working, without shying away from the digital. My generation has a lot to deal with, but that makes us very conscious of what we do and put out into the world. 

‘Ecology is not only about the resources you use but also about the mindset with which you produce and consume’

How do you relate to ecology?

My process is very slow – all the finishes are done by hand – and all the materials I use are organic. I embrace the fact that textiles change over time and I see that people are willing to invest in unique pieces that stay with them for a long time. I don’t define whether a piece is a blanket, a carpet or a tapestry, which gives my customers the option to use and display my work differently over time. Ecology is not only about the resources you use but also about the mindset with which you produce and consume.

 

Subbacultcha and KASK & Conservatorium are teaming up for a series of artist portraits, featuring some of the interesting alumni and student profiles.
The school is organizing an open day on 25 April. schoolofartsgent.be
@emmaterweduwe