The Textile Museum Tilburg

Ailish Henderson shares her view on the world of embroidery - it's the Ailist!

This issue we are going to look at what’s on in the land of textile art out of the UK. Recently I got the chance to hop across to Tilburg, Netherlands to visit The Textile Museum in the city to discover some awesome work.  Historically Tilburg was well known within the Textile world, thus this museum gets some awesome exhibitions as well as long running ones and TextielMuseum draws a great many people. Textile art has played an important part in the history of the city, and you can learn all about it at the museum. There are exhibitions taking in both the past and the present of the textile industry. I visited the ‘Black and White’ exhibition first, here is a picture of one of my favourite pieces….

Hinke Schreuders - Works on paper 2015 - Textile Art
Hinke Schreuders – Works on paper 2015

Hinke Schreuders has been making small paintings or drawings on canvas with needle and thread since 2002, so she has experience to draw on. She draws on both borrowed images and personal photographic material for these embroideries in which she explores the field of tension between feminine role models, sexuality and pornography. So her work sits on the edge and makes for much discussion. She was born in Amsterdam, so the locality of this exhibition is within her home area. I enjoyed researching her work afterwards and noting the sinister undertones she often implies. It is not all nice old fashioned imagery with a bit of embroidery on top – it has depth! She does not have her own website, but if you google her name a few sources do come up.

Moving on, here were some pretty random pieces of textile art, all found in this exhibition:

Karin Arink - Nike. 1992
Karin Arink – Nike. 1992

The piece above was made from wedding satin, shaped by a focus on the female body and links with Greek History and winged creatures.

Black and White often get overlooked in Textiles as often its colour which is highlighted.  However it is amazing how much dark and light shades can change a piece and really prove to be effective.

The museum tells us:  ‘Colours have their own symbolism in cultures, religions and history. Black and white are, strictly speaking, not colours. However, light and dark play a major role in art and design and have various symbolic meanings. ‘Black & White | Symbolic Meaning in Art and Design’ presents works from the museum collection that show how contemporary artists and designers interpret the symbolic meaning of black and white. The exhibition features works by artists including Jorge Baldessari, Maria Roosen, Alet Pilon, Jeroen Eisinga, Marinus Boezem, Bart Hess, Célio Braga, Studio Formafantasma and Felieke van der Leest.’

I enjoyed viewing the work of artists who were unfamiliar to me due to their relation to the Netherlands as opposed to the UK.  I liked how different cultures come to work within the art genre in a different way – yet we all have the common goal of commitment to our projects.

A large focus of the musuem is the developing of new Textile Art  They have an area called the Textile Lab, where practitioners test new materials, prints and machines.  Visitors can walk around and view the machines, as long as they don’t touch!

They have a website dedicated to this section of the building, catch it here.

A musuem in progress - watch artists in action.
A museum in progress – watch artists in action.

Here is a sneak peak of the lab….

View of the lab.
View of the lab.

I was rather jealous of the students and designers allowed to use this space – its all very cutting edge – I noticed loads of fashion images as I walked around, showing how the artists had used machinery to build outfits fit for the catwalks….

Beyond the pattern, cutting edge image for fashion outfits
Beyond the pattern, cutting edge image for fashion outfits

I mean, imagine getting to use machines like these – I think we would need some guidance using them:

Textile related machinery within the Textile Lab at the musuem.
Textile related machinery within the Textile Lab at the museum.

There are other exhibitions within the museum, some are based there for long periods of time and others are more time constrained. Before you visit, why not check out what is on show?

More at the musuem...Bauhaus inspired
More at the museum….Bauhaus inspired

In conclusion, really it bought it home to me how we need to look outside of the UK for textile art and inspiration – there is so much out there and often its really at the edge of the Textiles industry – if we can travel and view this stuff – we should!

Of course here on our site, we have columnists from all over writing for us, which gives the site real variety.

Have you checked them all out yet?