Genevieve Attinger – Fleur de Soufre

Fleur de Soufre

90 x 55 x 10

Fleur de Soufre (sulphur flower) is connected to vulcanology: H2S, hydrogen sulphide rising from the depth of volcanoes is oxidized at the surface to sulphur dioxide or to pure yellow sulphur that often forms masses of beautiful delicate yellow crystals around the mouth of solfastaras.  Fleur de Soufre and sulphur is connected to personality.  In my work, I wanted: a mouth of solfataras; mineral colours; something rising out of the work; flowers; yellow; a feminine face. A rather thin, delicate, and light work!

Interlaced plastic fabric (2 layers) honeycomb filling stitches, narrow strips of jersey cotton, packed and held in place with a free motion machine stitched grid.

Plastic deck chair fabric, latex gloves, polyester/polypropylene cord, polyester string, polyester fishing line, 2 metallic lamp shade structures, jersey cotton.



GENEVIEVE ATTINGER – Artists Statement

I am a former agricultural engineer and have a scientific mind and little connection with the arts. From a very early age I’ve made my own clothes without the help of a pattern, and enjoyed using my hands to express my creativity.

I became a part-time teacher in biology and bioethics, a part-time wife/mother/housewife and a part-time textile “artist”, creating wall hangings; an equation difficult to resolve!! But I deeply believe that each of these activities feeds the other ones. It’s essential to keep an open mind to express sensations, feelings and perceptions of the life or the world in all its dimensions.

In 1989, as a self-taught textile artist feeling the need for more personal expression, I took evening classes in graphic expression and sculpture in order to progress. The course completely changed my work and perhaps that’s when I became a real artist working with threads and fabrics which I found to be sensual, tactile and malleable materials. The fabrics I now use are new or well-worn, found at decorator boutiques, thrift shops or flea markets.

I am inspired by what I see and know, by my readings, by the news reports or debates on TV, by the photos I take or I find in magazines. My concerns are contemporary problems about the feminine condition. Although I translate my concerns, my pain, my fears, I also use calm and gentle feelings too.

My work is mainly figurative, and I only half-open the door with a title; this is really important for me. I use the free-motion machine embroidery technique to make portraits that I put in the larger context of the artwork to get the narrative. I paint, dye or discharge, mistreat fabrics: cutting, knotting, pulling-out threads. The exploration and the use of these manipulations are not an aim in themselves, but a way to create the story for which threads and fabrics can be my vocabulary.

I say: my “words-matter” (in french: mots-matière)
Even if my stories are misinterpreted, the essence is that I touch the viewer! I sew “my” story, the viewer sees or reads his own.

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