Tjitske W.

This is my distilled story

I grew up in post war Europe in a small village in the rural north of the Netherlands. There was a shortage of fabric and a shortage of books which may go some way towards explaining my lifelong love of fabric and passion for books.

Fabric is, of course, a fact of all our lives, and when I was a young mum I used to make all kinds of clothes for my two little boys, from shirts to jackets and from trousers to dressing up costumes. Fabric as art material was something that came much later, somewhere in the nineties when textile art seemed to pop up everywhere. A City and Guilds course was my way into this new and wonderful world and for the past few decades fabric, threads and paper have never been far away.

As to books: All my life they have been my great friends in all kinds of guises. I love the way stories can unfold within books or knowledge imparted, but I also love the look of books and the feel of them, the crisp pages of a new book or the brittle paper of an old one.

In my textile work all this comes together. I like my work to tell a story. This can be completely visual, but lately more and more text seems to have crept into my work, which I welcome. And frequently my textile work comes in the shape of some kind of book structure. This fits in with my way of working. I start out with an object or an idea and then start experimenting and sampling. Some of those experimentswill appeal more than others and thus, by trying out different designs and techniques, I see my work take shape. In this way the work is both the process and the product. It is the reflection of the interaction between myself, my material and whatever -tiny- part of the world has presented itself to me at that particular moment.