Exhibition review – Rijswijk textile biennial 2017

It's ShowTime! from Mr X StitchWhat is this exhibition about?  Is there a theme?

The Rijswijk Textile Biennial happens every two years in the Netherlands.  Those who wish to apply must go through the selection process, sending in details about their work, CV and of course imagery.  There is no theme to work towards, simply the understanding that the work they produce has to come under the Contemporary Art banner, with the understated ‘Thread – That which binds’ (Rijswijk invite 2017) whatever the source material.   Looking at that title, who can discern the boundaries of what is seen to be contemporary?  This may be hard to quantify.

The exhibition took place from May – September 2017.

The artists exhibiting

Maryam Ashkanian (IRN),  Susanna Bauer (ENG), Renato Dib (BRA),Jenni Dutton (ENG),Nigel Hurlstone (ENG), Henry Hussey (ENG), June Lee (KOR),Rieko Koga (FRA), Karoline H Larsen (DNK),  Alice Kettle (ENG),Kate Just (AUS), Daun Jeong (KOR), Agnès Sébyleau (FRA),Jon Eric Riis (USA),Laima Oržekauskienė-Ore (LTU),Sophia Narrett (USA),Janaina Mello Landini (BRA), Tamar Mason (ZAF),Hannalie Taute (ZAF), Cristiàn Velasco (CHL), Murat Yildiz (TUR), Ji Seon Yoon (KOR), Kristina Aas & Karina Presttun (NOR)

As you can see, they have been selected from all over the world!


w images from the exhibition itself – the variety was huge considering only twenty four artists took part:

Kate Just took knitting to new extremes – she makes us question whether it is knitting at all!
Maryam Ashkanian deals with that never ending problem – a lack of sleep. She has studied the human form and how they sleep, embroidering pillows to convey this.
Karoline Larsen lets everyone have some fun with her colourful tactile display, letting the public play
Tours are provided daily to allow the audience to understand the work around them
Sinister or silent, June Lee’s little figures are a tad eerie – who are they staring at?
A head full of what? Another of June Lee’s statues with a beautiful tapestry set in the background by Jon Eris Riis

One of my personal favourites came from Hannalie Taute:

‘Rubber, rubber on the wall, who is the toughest of them all?’ (2014)

The artwork exhibited all has to come under this contemporary category and Taute’s work certainly hit that brief, using rubber as a fabric to embroider.  It is clever ideas such as this which really can inspire us.

No, maybe not all of us can attend exhibitions such as this one, it may depend on where we live.  But what a great showcase to even look through!

If you would like to find out more about the museum which held the exhibition and what might be on in future, take a look at their website.  It also has links to the twenty four artists websites, if one or two spark your interest.




As a freelance artist, designer, lecturer and tutor (how do I narrow down that description?!) I have been contracted by numerous arts organizations to provide Talks, Workshops’ and Masterclasses’ in Textiles, Print Making and Fine Art subjects.  These include branches of the Embroiderers’ Guild, Textile Study Groups and The Women’s Institute.  Every year I teach at The Knitting and Stitching shows and exhibit with the Artist in Action stand. I had my first solo exhibition in March 2016 and have been part of numerous group exhibitions.  Currently I am columnist for textile art publication “Be Creative with Workbox”; having also written articles or had work illustrated in Stitch, Inspired, Embroidery, Selvedge, Daphne’s Diary, Prima (online), Cloth Paper Scissors and the Batsford book ‘Be Creative with Textile Art.'

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